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Encyclopedia > Lycaon pictus
African Hunting Dog
Conservation status: Endangered

African Hunting Dog
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Lycaon
Species: L. pictus
Binomial name
Lycaon pictus
(Temminck, 1820)

The African Hunting Dog (Lycaon pictus) is a mammal of the Canidae family, though related to the domestic dog. It is the only species in its genus, Lycaon. They are, as their name indicates, found only in Africa, especially in scrub savanna and other lightly wooded areas. The Latin name of the species means painted wolf and it is characteristic of the species that no two individuals have the same pattern of coat.

An African Hunting Dog gnawing on a bone
An African Hunting Dog gnawing on a bone

African Hunting Dogs hunt in packs. Their main prey are impala and similar medium sized ungulates. They're known for their stamina and for being clever hunters -- they have been observed hunting prey in relays, or even blocking a potential escape route for prey. Their voice is characterized by an unusual chirping or squeaking sound, similar to a bird. Their need for a large territory has led to the situation where today they are threatened with extinction. Their relatively small physique also makes them vulnerable to attacks by their competitors, lions and hyenas. They tend to be elusive and unlike most other members of the dog family, are rather difficult to tame.

External link

  • Walker's Mammals of the World (http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/walkers_mammals_of_the_world/carnivora.canidae.lycaon.html) - as of 2002-07-07

  Results from FactBites:
Lycaon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (406 words)
Lycaon, in Greek mythology, was a son of Priam and Laothoe.
Lycaon, in Greek mythology, son of Pelasgus and Meliboea, father of Oenotrus and the mythical first king of Arcadia.
Meyer, the belief that Zeus Lycaeus accepted human sacrifice in the form of a wolf was the origin of the myth that Lycaon, the founder of his cult, became a wolf, i.e.
ADW: Lycaon pictus: Information (1301 words)
Lycaon pictus literally means "painted or ornate wolf." The fur appears to be painted with brown, red, fl, yellow and white areas.
The body length of Lycaon pictus is between 75 and 110 cm, the tail is between 30 and 40 cm long, and they range in weight from 18 to 36 kg.
Lycaon pictus is listed as endangered by the IUCN and the United States Endangered Species Act.
  More results at FactBites »



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