The African continent is a home to various kinds of animals and birds that are not only interesting but are rare species also. African Wild Dogs are among them, which is known by various other names like African Hunting Dog, Spotted Dog and others.
Fact 1 Classification Of African Wild Dogs
The scientific name of African Wild Dogs is Lycaon pictus and they belong to the mammals’ class. They are included in the family of Canids and are carnivorous animals. They are known by various names like Cape Hunting Dogs, Painted Dogs, Painted Wolf, Painted Hunting Dogs or Ornate Wolf because the scientific name in Greek means wolf and in Latin it means painted. These dogs have black, white, brown or russet mottled coat with yellow patterns that vary from one animal to the other.
Fact 2 Description
African Wild Dogs are of a medium size like domestic dogs. Their coats are special and look as if they are painted. The ears are large and round and the eyes are surrounded by dark brown circles. They have long legs and a muzzle. Unlike other wolves and dogs these animals have only four toes and not five. The white tipped bushy tail enables them to stay connected during hunting.
Fact 3 Habitat
African Wild Dogs mostly roam the arid savannas, open plains and deserts of sub-Saharan Africa. Their numbers have decreased largely since they require large opens spaces for their entire pack. They live in the woodlands and mountainous areas where it is easy to find their prey. Nowadays they are mostly restricted to National Parks across South Africa, namely in Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Fact 3 Nature Of African Wild Dogs
It is really amazing g to know that these animals are extremely social nature. Although they have the word “wild” before their name, they hardly fight with each other. They live in packs that consist of 10 to 30 dogs and take care of each other. They lead a disciplined life and have great unity among themselves. Before going for a hunt, they get together and lick each other, wag their tails and make special sounds. They share their food, take care of the young, the sick, the injured and older members of the pack. They are active mostly during dawn and dusk.
Fact 5 Uniqueness Of African Wild Dogs
These animals are really unique in every way. Their behaviors are different from all other wild animals and they are very intelligent. Their soft and human-like habits are remarkable. The unique coats make them all the more special and can easily be differentiated from other wild dogs. But you will never find an African Wild Dog that has exactly the same coat as another dog of the same class. The stomach and intestines of these animals are larger as compared to other dogs. Their sociable nature makes them an outstanding species among all other wild animals.
Fact 6 Food Habits
African Wild Dogs are carnivores and hunt large animals in groups that include mammals like Warthogs, various categories of antelopes and also Lizards, Birds, Rodents and Insects. Since they hunt together in packs, they have great stamina and can run for miles cornering their prey quite easily. These dogs have large intestines that give them the ability absorb maximum moisture from their food so that even if they do not find enough water in the arid areas, they can carry on without feeling sick.
Fact 7 Why Are African Wild Dogs An Endangered Species
These animals are very sociable creatures and hardly bother humans. But a scarcity of large areas required for their natural habitat and human hunters has decreased the numbers of the dogs. Today they are mostly preserved in National Parks and protected by animal welfare units.