Maned Wolf: the dog of the south american plains

Discussion in 'Pets' started by José, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. José
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    José Gold Member

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    Most wildlife documentaries focus their attention on the african fauna, so I bet most of you have never heard about this south american canid.

    The maned wolf displays a series of special adaptations to live in his habitat: the plains of the central region of South America.

    The vegetation of this region is composed mainly by tall grass. The maned wolf developed its extremely long legs to be able to wander through its territory without having to constantly jump as dogs do when they cross this type of terrain.

    Their long legs also help them find their prey hidden in the grass (rodents, hares and small birds, for the most part).

    This amazing trait is the reason why the maned wolf is often called “fox on stilts”.

    If this marvelous creature is someday swept out of existence due to habitat destruction, domestic dogs’ attacks, etc... I support the physical extermination of the entire south american population.

    Ok... this is just a hyperbole whose only purpose is to show my admiration for this cousin of our dogs and my outrage about the fact it is on the endangered species list.

    But seriously, if this creature disapear from the wild, it will be a national tragedy for Brazil, Argentina, Paraguai and Bolivia.

    I can’t conceive a world in which the future generations of human beings will only be able to “admire” stuffed maned wolves.

    I certainly don’t want to live in this world. So if and when this sad day comes, I hope I’m already gone.

    Some years ago, there was a debate about displaying south american animals on the brazilian currency.

    Several animals were selected and had their photos printed on the new money: the jaguar, the golden lion tamarin etc etc.

    But the maned wolf was rejected on grounds that its appearance is too clumsy: long legs, long face, etc etc.

    The only thing I can say about this is that the saying “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” has never been truer, because in the eyes of this beholder, the maned wolf is simply drop dead gorgeous.

    You can see pictures and learn more about the maned wolf here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maned_Wolf

    http://www.cosmosmith.com/maned_wolves.html

    http://www.saudeanimal.com.br/extinto11.htm

    The last page is in Portuguese but it has two phantastic photos showing the mating rituals of maned wolves.
     
  2. Hagbard Celine
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    Hagbard Celine Senior Member

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    Ooheee! It's the Chupacabra! Muy Mary ese loco! Ooheee!
     
  3. José
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    José Gold Member

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    There's nothing more frustrating than when you start a thread on a serious subject and the legion of shitheads that roam the internet at will after midnight, start making fun of it.

    But as ARCHANGEL has said in one of the funniest posts I have ever read:

    "When you come into a message board, you have to have a thick skin." LOL

    Well... mine is thicker than a rhino's.

    So go ahead... Maybe I'll send a pack of maned wolves to Atlanta to bite your ass : )
     
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  4. José
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    José Gold Member

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    Sorry... big slip... maned wolves are solitary animals... they do not form packs...
     
  5. Hagbard Celine
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    Hagbard Celine Senior Member

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    :laugh: My apologies. I didn't know maned wolves were such a serious issue with you. Mayne. Oy! I needa burrito! Ooheee!
     
  6. José
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    José Gold Member

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    No problema, compadre : )

    And since this thread is about a south american canid, the lil chihuahua is a more fitting tribute:

    "Yo quiero Taco Bell".
     
  7. Hagbard Celine
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    Hagbard Celine Senior Member

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    This thing looks like a cross between a fox and a dingo mayne. What is the reason it's endangered? Hunting? Habitat encroachment? Agent Orange?
     
  8. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    I might have mistaken this wolf for a fox. Beautiful animal either way.
    Thanks for posting, Jose'. I love to learn about animals. :thup:
     
  9. José
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    José Gold Member

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    Celine and Abbey... if you forgive me a little Zoology 101...

    The canine family has two main genus: canis (wolves, coyotes, dogs, dingoes, jackals) and vulpes (all kinds of foxes).

    The maned wolf do not belong to any of these two genus. He’s the only representative alive of its genus (Chrysocyon).

    Although I named this thread “the dog of the south american plains”, he’s not even a close relative of dogs and wolves.

    The maned wolf can be thought of as a primitive canid, a primitive ancestor of both wolves and foxes. So Celine’s “definition” of maned wolves as a cross between a fox and a dingo is actually quite accurate. And Abbey’s mistake is quite comprehensible. : )

    Abbey, the maned wolf is much, much taller than the tallest fox you can find. You would be surprised if you could see a maned wolf and a fox side by side. As I said, his long legs are the maned wolf's most extraordinary adaptation to his environment (tall grass savanahs of South America).

    So don't you ever call him a "fox on stilts" cause you're gonna hurt his feelings : )

    And when Celine calls it a “thing” he’s not alone. As I said the brazilian government itself refused to let it appear on the new currency due to its weirdness.

    But when you overcome this first impression, you find a beautiful animal as Abbey said.
     
  10. José
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    José Gold Member

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    The main threat to maned wolves is reproductive isolation, Celine, caused by agricultural development that divides their territory in small, unconnected patches of land. Maned wolves cannot meet and mate with other maned wolves when they are isolated from each other.

    They are sometimes killed by ranchers when they try to eat domestic chickens. And there is also an idiot unban legend that says they eat cattle and sheep. This gives them a bad reputation that leads some truck drivers to run over them (stupidity at its best).

    It’s quite interesting you cited agent orange because the most bizarre aspect of manned wolves has to do with a kind of fruit.

    Wherever you find maned wolves you will also find a kind of tree called loberia (lobo = wolf). Manned wolves eat the fruit produced by this tree, called wolf apples, to prevent kidney problems.

    There is a very easy way to wipe out an entire population of maned wolves. You just have to cut down all the Wolf Apple trees in the region. They just can’t survive without them.

    I ate this fruit myself when I visited a national park. It’s more or less tasty, I gotta tell you : )

    And this is the good, old maned wolf, Celine and Abbey. Just when you think there couldn’t be anything weirder than his appearance, you discover his habits : )
     

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