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Common Name: African wild dog

Scientific Name: Lycaon pictus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Genus: Lycaon

Species: L. pictus



The size of the African wild dog is about 3 feet tall. It weighs about 37-80 pounds. The most known coloring of these animals is a black and brown body and white accessories. They live in warm areas. Most of these species look very skinny. African wild dogs are the size of medium domestic dogs. Their Latin name, Lycaon pictus, means "painted wolf-like animal." Their coats are mottled in shades of brown, black and beige. They have large, rounded ears and dark brown circles around their eyes. The dogs differ from wolves and other dogs in that they have four toes instead of five. 


The L. pictus lives in Africa. They also live near the Sahara Desert. Normally living around short-grassed or bushsy grasslands where water is near to hunt their prey. They are known to be nomadic in nature, meaning they are always on the move. These animals do well in these areas because they are able to run fast in open wide areas. The surroundings allow these predators to catch prey easy too.


There are about 13 thousand living wild dogs. They are going extinct because of hunters and wildfires. When more of these animals die, other animals like the vulture may die or lions. There won't be much compitition. The animals population are shrinking dramaticly. They grow up to at least 4 to 6 years old living in the wild. The most they can grow up to in a healthy state is at least 10 years.


They are canivores meaning they eat meat. A pack of the wild dogs chase the prey and attack. They conentrate on the 'easy' prey. Larger packs tear the animal prey before eating. When they eat, they are usually going for the blood. They compete with lions, and many other wildlife predators. They compete because they need to get food in order to survive.


African wild dogs hunt antelope, zebras, wildebeest, springboks, gazelles and impala. African wild dogs die when there are no prey around for them to eat. African wild dogs face a number of serious threats, including habitat loss, human persecution (hunting and poisoning), disease spread from domestic animals and isolated populations.


The things I found most interesting about my animal was probably their behavior. They would usually travel in at least a pack of 100. I thought that there were equal amouts of male and female and learned that there are actually more males in the packs. More people are protecting the wild dogs. The group is called CITES, Appendix I. They are trying to help this species not get extinct. I also learned that these animals are very fast when it comes to hunting down another animal.


Author: Benjamin J

Published: 02/2007



 Internet Web Site: "" Date: 3rd Month:May Year: 1995

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