Maned wolf: description where it dwells, photo
The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is an animal in all respects unique. It can be attributed neither to foxes, nor to wolves. Its name is translated from the Greek language as a golden short-tailed dog.
In which country does a maned wolf live?
This animal is originally from America. More precisely from its southern areas. The maned wolf inhabits the territory north of the Parnaiba River (Brazil), including the east of Bolivia. The southern part of the range captures Paraguay and the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Previously, he met in the south of Peru, as well as in the north of Argentina and in Uruguay, but has now disappeared from these lands.
The maned wolf is probably the most unusual member of its family. Outwardly, he is very similar to a fox, but has very long, thin and slender legs.
Its elongated muzzle and elongated neck create the impression that the body of the animal is short. The disproportionality of this wolf's addition is additionally emphasized by standing large ears and a small tail.
The coat is rather high, soft and thick, painted in brownish-red color. On the face and paws are often dark spots. The lower part of the muzzle and the tip of the tail have a lighter color. Wool around the neck is much longer - it can reach thirteen centimeters. It grows thickly, resembles a mane. When an animal is in an excited state, its "mane" puffs up and thereby increases its size.
Previously, researchers were confident that the maned wolf, the photo of which you see in our article, has such long legs for a quick run, during the pursuit of prey. However, recently it turned out that they help an animal to observe the surroundings, sitting in the tall grass.
Despite the similarity with the fox, the maned wolf has no close kinship with it. For example, it does not have a characteristic vertical pupil for foxes. His relationship with the genus Dusicyon, as it turned out, is also controversial. Scientists have come to the conclusion that this is a relic animal that survived the South American canid, more impressive sizes, which became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene era.
Maned wolf has a rather soft coat of yellowish-red color.A darker, almost black coat covers the underside of the body and legs, and the tail is rather light. The color of this animal is dominated by reddish, brown and yellow tones. From the crown to the middle of the back stretches a wide black stripe. Paws have "black boots". On the front limbs, they reach almost to the chest, on the hind limbs - to the hock joint. The tip of the tail and throat are white. The muzzle has a black mask.
This is not a very large animal. The body of a wolf is about 125 cm long, the tail is 30 cm. The height at the withers does not exceed 75 cm. The weight is not more than 23 kg.
Maned wolf prefers to settle on open shrubby and grassy plains (pampas), on the forest edges or on the outskirts of swamps that are covered with tall grass. It practically does not occur in the mountains and rain forests.
The maned wolf eats both plant and animal food. He very successfully hunts small animals - rodents, armadillos, rabbits, birds, insects and snails. If such an opportunity arises, it attacks the poultry. Because of this, he is the worst enemy of farmers, as well as poultry farmers. It is extremely rare when there is a shortage of food, wolves gather in a group and attack a pig or lamb. People never attack these animals.
Hunting rodents, the beast is sitting in ambush. Moving large ears, which allow hearing animals in tall and thick grass, help him to find prey. A maned wolf bangs his forepaw on the ground to scare the prey, and instantly rushes and catches it.
This unusual animal does not refuse bananas, guava, tubers and roots of various plants, the nightshade Solanum lycocarpum.
Today, the life of these animals in the natural environment has been little studied. But there are many observations of the life and habits of red wolves in reserves and zoos.
These are nocturnal animals that sometimes go out for hunting and at dusk. During the day, they rest in dense vegetation, sometimes moving for short distances. Each pair of maned wolves covers an area of about 30 km2. The boundaries of the animals mark the urine. The female and male hunt separately. In captivity, they raise babies together.
Long legs allow the animal to wade among thick and tall grass and notice its prey from afar. In its structure, the limbs of this predator resemble the legs of a cheetah. The volume of his lungs and heart is very small, so in natural conditions the locals easily catch wolves on horses and catch them using a lasso.
These animals are monogamous.The marriage period in captivity begins in October-February in the north and in August-October in the south of America. In females estrus occurs once a year and lasts from 1 to 5 days. Pregnancy lasts 66 days.
As a rule, 2 to 4 cubs are born in a prepared lair that animals build in rocky caves or thick grass. The male does not dig a hole and, under natural conditions, does not care about puppies.
At birth, puppies have a dark gray, almost black fur coat, the tip of the tail is white. Newborns weigh about 430 g and develop rapidly. They open their eyes as early as day 9, in the fourth week their ears become upright. Unlike parents, they still have short legs, which will stretch later.
Benefit and harm
Today, maned wolves are exterminated as pests, although their meat and skin are not used. Locals often endow mystical properties of certain parts of the body of the red wolf, as eyes, skin, tail. They use them as talismans.
Maned wolf: interesting facts
Today, more and more scientists are inclined to believe that this is a relict species that has miraculously survived from the times of the Pleistocene.
Interestingly, these predators during the ripening of strawberries, strawberries and other berries willingly include them in their diet. The female and male wolf differ in voices - the male makes low-pitched sounds, the she-wolf is in a higher tone, and the wolf is squealing like little puppies.
It is interesting that having such long and seemingly strong legs, maned wolves are very weak runners.
This predator grabs its prey and swallows it entirely, because it has too weak jaws, which do not allow it to chew the prey. That is why he eats small animals.