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
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.
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
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