African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus)
African Wild Dog is a canid native to Sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest of it's family (Canidae) in Africa and the only member of the genus Lycaon, distinguished from Canis by it's fewer toes and dentition ( highly specialised for a hypercarnivorous diet). It is classed as endangered by the IUCN, as it had disappeared from much of it's original range. The current population has been estimated at roughly 39 subpopulations containing 6.600 adults, 1400 of which are fully grown. The decline of these populations is ongoing, due to habitat fragmentation, human persecution, and disease outbreaks. The African Wild Dog is a highly social animal, living in packs with separate dominance hierarchies for males and females. The species is a specialised diurnal hunter of antelopes , which it catches by chasing them to exhaustion. Like other canids, it regurgitates food for it's young, but this action is also extended to adults, to the point of being the bedrock of African wild dog social life. It has few natural predators, though lions are a major source of mortality, and spotted hyenas are frequent kleptoparasites (parasitism by theft). It has been respected in several hunter -gatherer societies like predynastic Egyptians and the San People.
watercolour pencils hand drawing
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