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African wild dog fursuit

African wild dog fursuit


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African wild dog fursuit

An African wild dog (Lycaon pictus, formerly known as Canis simensis, which means "similar to the Canis simensis" in Latin, after Lycaon of Greek mythology who killed Canis, a half-wolf, by the dog god Zeus's order to trick Zeus into giving up some cattle) is a large canid native to sub-Saharan Africa, ranging from the Cape of Good Hope to the Zambezi River. They are a type of dog in their own right, classified as Canis lupus subspecies, with the subspecies C. l. subsp. simensis in southern Africa, C. l. subsp. nubensis in the east and C. l. subsp. pictus in the west. The IUCN recognises three distinct populations, but they may be allopatric, as few field studies have been carried out and genetic analyses are limited. In total there are two distinct subspecies. The African wild dog is considered an endangered species, mnly due to habitat loss, livestock ranching and persecution by humans. Efforts have been made to save the population and the African wild dog has become a flagship species for conservation. The fursuits of African wild dogs help in this effort, as the animals can be more easily studied and are more commonly encountered by the public. The first fursuit was built in 2005.

History

The African wild dog is the only subspecies of the Lycaon, so they have been classified as a subspecies, Lycaon pictus, based on the Lycaon of Greek mythology. The animal was named after the god Zeus, who killed the half-wolf Canis, with whom he had been having an affr, with his order to his dog, Lycaon. The lycaon was portrayed as a dog-like figure with a lion's head, a panther's tl and four legs. The wild dog itself is sometimes referred to as the "cunning" lycaon.

During the Roman Empire, many European dog breeds were crossed with the African wild dog in order to produce new breeds. Some of these were: Alopex, the African Alpaca, the Chausie, the Chausie Mare, the Chausie and the Gélusie and the Gélusie Mare. The African wild dog also contributed to the development of several more modern breeds, including the African hunting dog, the Dingo, the Maremello, the Maremmano, and the Molosser. During the 1980s, the African wild dog was reintroduced into the Mournes, a National Park in Northern Ireland.

Characteristics

Similar to the grey wolf, the African wild dog is diurnal, meaning that it is active during the day. Their natural colour is dark brown with tan spots, but the colour can be more reddish in adults. They have black lips, feet, and a black mask over the eyes. The coat is long and shaggy, with a guard of hrs along the spine. The tl is thick at the base and covered with hr, and the ears are very large. It has a bushy tl, and a long neck.

Feeding habits

Like all canids, the African wild dog is omnivorous, eating fruits, seeds, meat, eggs, and other invertebrates. In southern Africa, it eats large numbers of rodents and also scavenges. They are adept climbers and are often seen in the trees. In the Mournes, they are known to feed on wild boar, but they are also adept at catching rabbits and small rodents.

Reproduction and lifespan

In captivity, the African wild dog can live for about fifteen years, but in the wild it can live for a few to seven years.

In the Mournes, an African wild dog pack can be as small as six animals, but packs can consist of more than a dozen individuals. The average group consists of 11 members. In the summer, the packs form a circle, but in the winter they often form long string-like lines.

Mating occurs in late September to November. The gestation period is sixty-five to seventy days. The cubs are born in a den and are about thirty-five pounds at birth. They grow fast, feeding on small prey until they are four to five months old. When they are approximately eight to nine months old, they leave the den and join a pack. After a year, they are able to keep up with adult dogs.

Defending home ranges

The African wild dog lives on a home range of 5200 square kilometers, making it one of the most widespread dogs in the world. A home range is an area of land that a pack regularly uses as a shelter. Home ranges are determined in a number of ways, including the distance travelled by the pack, how long the packs stays in different areas, and how many large, medium, and small prey are taken by the pack on a regular basis.

In the Mournes, the home ranges are mostly in the area of the River Allen, but some home ranges are within an area of over 20,000 square kilometers. Home ranges of large packs are mostly larger than those of small packs, but small packs often overlap the larger packs. These overlapping home ranges sometimes allow a small pack to take over the food source, a phenomenon called 'boom and bust'. The African wild dog is one of the few animals that has such a large home range. Their large home range allows the population to expand and contract quickly.

Social system and hierarchy

The social system of the African wild dog is not entirely clear. It was thought that the males of the pack dominated, because they are larger, stronger, and have longer canines. Research conducted by University of Pretoria Professor of Ecology, Dr. Sjrein Høgmo, has disproved this. The females of the pack dominate in the hierarchy of dominance, but the males do have some dominance. Although females are much stronger than the males, it seems the pack order is ranked, from top to bottom, by age and pack size. Although females are smaller, they are generally dominant over the males. This is most likely due to the females being more aggressive, having a higher metabolism, and having longer canines. The males have a longer canine row than the females, which is why the males are the smallest of the pack, and may also be why the males are the most aggressive.

Longevity and reproduction

The African wild dog has a life expectancy of 8.6 years. This is the average life expectancy for wild dogs. Females reach the age of 8.3 years, which is quite short for a dog.

Males reach sexual maturity at 4 to 5 years old and females reach sexual maturity between 3 to 4 years old. African wild dogs breed from September to February. They begin mating in September and stay mating for almost two months.

The average litter size for an African wild dog is 3 to 6 pups. African wild dogs in the wild have a life expectancy of 11 years. Pups born to the females born from October to March will be from August to November. The pups can be born up to 2 months after the birth of the mother. Pups will be born every other year. However, because of the harsh conditions and human pressures, the wild dog population has declined to 1,000 to 3,000 wild dogs.

Diet

The African wild dog primarily eats herbivorous animals, including gazelles, wildebeest, zebra, warthogs, and springbok. They may also eat small


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