African Wild Dog

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The African Wild Dog (also known as the Painted Dog and the Cape Hunting Dog) is a medium sized species of canine found across sub-Saharan Africa. The African Wild Dog is most easily identified from both domestic and other wild Dogs by their brightly mottled fur, with it's name in Latin aptly meaning painted wolf. The African Wild Dog is said to be the most sociable of all the canines, living in packs of around 30 individuals. Sadly however, this highly intelligent and sociable animal is severely under threat in much of it's natural habitat, primarily due to habitat loss and having been hunted by Humans.


The most distinctive feature of the African Wild Dog is it's beautifully mottled fur which makes this canine very easy to identify. The fur of the African Wild Dog is red, black, white, brown and yellow in colour with the random pattern of colours being unique to each individual. It is also thought to act as a type of camouflage, helping the African Wild Dog to blend into it's surroundings. The African Wild Dog also has large ears, a long muzzle and long legs, with four toes on each foot. This is one of the biggest differences between the African Wild Dog and other canine species as they have five. They also have a large stomach and a long, large intestine which aids them in more effectively absorbing moisture from their food.




Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Lycaon
Scientific Name: Lycaon pictus
Common Name: African Wild Dog
Other Name(s): Hunting Dog, Painted Dog, Painted Wolf
Group: Mammal
Number Of Species: 1
Location: sub-Saharan Africa
Habitat: Open plains and savanna
Colour: Grey, Black, White, Brown, Tan, Gold, Red
Skin Type: Fur
Size (L): 75cm - 110cm (29in - 43in)
Weight: 17kg - 36kg (39lbs - 79lbs)
Top Speed: 72kph (45mph)
Diet: Carnivore
Prey: Antelope, Warthog, Rodents
Predators: Lions, Hyenas, Humans
Lifestyle: Crepuscular
Group Behaviour: Pack
Life Span: 10 - 13 years
Age Of Sexual Maturity: 12 - 18 months
Gestation Period: 70 days
Average Litter Size: 8
Name Of Young: Pup
Age Of Weaning: 3 months
Conservation Status: Endangered
Estimated Population Size: Less than 5,000
Biggest Threat: Habitat loss
Most Distinctive Feature: Four toes on each foot rather than five
Fun Fact: Also known as the painted dog!

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