African Wild Dogs

Powerful Essays
Topics: Canidae, Lion, Predation
Lycaon pictus, the scientific name for the African Wild Dog, literally translates into “painted or ornate wolf” (“Lycaon pictus — Details African Wild Dog”). African Wild Dogs are some of the most beautiful and social canines in the world, but, sadly, this species is endangered. This essay will focus on a basic description of the African Wild Dog, along with the threats it faces and the projected outlook for this species. (“Lycaon pictus — Details African Wild Dog”). The African Wild Dog has a slender body with long, muscular legs (“Lycaon pictus — Details African Wild Dog”). Typically, they will weigh between forty and eighty lbs. and can be anywhere from three and a half to five ft. long (including the length of the tail). African Wild Dogs are usually between two and two and a half ft. tall at the shoulder. The males also tend to be slightly larger than the females. Compared to wolves or coyotes, they are very lean and tall. Unlike other canines, the African Wild Dog has only four toes on its front feet, as opposed to the typical five. This is because their dew-claw is missing. Other distinctive qualities are their large, round ears. (“Lycaon pictus — Details African Wild Dog”). It is said that these ears are essential for hunting, during which a pack may use long distance vocal calls (G. Rhodes, and R. Rhodes). These ears also help with heat loss and regulation (“Lycaon pictus — Details African Wild Dog”). However, an African Wild Dogs most distinctive quality is its coat; this species has a coat blotched in yellow, gray, black, white, and brown (“Lycaon pictus — Details African Wild Dog”). Most of the variation in color is on the body and legs (Creel, and Creel). The coloration on the dogs faces are all very similar, with a black muzzle shading to brown on the cheeks and forehead, a black line extending up the forehead, and blackish-brown on the backs of the ears. There is never white on the head. The back part of the head and the top of the neck are

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