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Asiatic Wild Dog | Dhole  

Asiatic Wild Dog | Dhole

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Asiatic Wild Dog | Dhole
Description: Also known as Indian Wild Dog.

Was lucky to get this chap under fading sunlight in Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India.


From Wiki:

The Dhole has many physical similarities to the African Wild Dog and the Bush Dog, most notably in the redundancy of the post-carnassial molars, though whether this is an example of convergence or close relationship is a matter of debate.

The Dhole typically weighs 12-20 kilograms (26-44 pounds) and measures 90 centimeters (35 inches) in body length and 50 centimeters (20 inches) shoulder height. The tail measures 40-45 centimeters (16-18 inches) in length. There is little sexual dimorphism. The Dhole has a broad, domed skull and a short, broad muzzle. The bones of the forehead and upper jaw are "swollen", producing a dish-faced profile. The hooded eyes have amber or light brown irises, and the ears are large and rounded.

The pelage of the back and flanks is red to brown in colour, while the foreneck, chest and undersides are white or lightly gingered. The fur of specimens from southern ranges is typically short and rusty red, while that of more northern subspecies is longer and more yellow or brown in colour. Dholes from Thailand are more uniform brown, and lack the typical lighter throat and chest, while those from Himalayan regions have more yellowish fur.

Dhole dentition is unique among canids, by the fact that it has one fewer lower molars, amounting to 40 teeth rather than the more usual 42 of other species. Its lower carnassials also sport only one cusp (two is more usual for canids) an adaptation thought to improve shearing ability, thus allowing it to compete more successfully with kleptoparasites. Its front pawpads are fused at the base. Females have 6-7 pairs of mammae, as opposed to the more usual five present in other canid species. The chromosome number is 2n = 78.

The Dhole originates from South Asia. Its range is latitude: 10 South to 55 North; Longitude: 70 East to 170 East. Its historical range extended from India to China, and down to Malaysia and Indonesia, with Java as the Southern limit. In recent decades, there has been huge habitat loss in this region, and restricted surveys indicate serious decline and fragmentation of the former range. The Dhole's current range extends from the borders of Russia and the Altai Mountains in Manchuria (Central and Eastern Asia) to Northern and Western Pakistan to the forest tracts of India, Burma, and the Malayan Archipelago. The best remaining populations are probably to be found in Central (especially in the Highlands), Western and Northern Pakistan and Southern India.

The Dhole exploits a large variety of habitats. It normally inhabits dry and moist deciduous forests and thick jungles, as well as tropical rain forests, which all provide better cover for hunting. It inhabits areas of primary, secondary, degraded, evergreen, and semi-evergreen forms of vegetation, and dry thorn forests, as well as scrub-forest mosaics. It can also, however, survive in dense alpine forests, meadows and on the open steppes of Kashmir and Manchuria. As the second part of its Latin name, alpinus, suggests, the Dhole is often found in hilly or mountainous regions. The Dhole likes open spaces and during the day they can often be found on jungle roads and paths, river beds, and in jungle clearings. The Dhole inhabits in the widest range of climates in the canid family from freezing cold to tropical heat, but is not recorded in deserts.

Factors which influence habitat include water, the presence of other large predators (competition), sufficient prey (plentiful medium to large ungulate prey species), local human population, and suitable breeding sites.
Keywords: Kanha_Tiger_Reserve, Kanha, Dhole, Cuon_alpinus
Date: 13.05.2009 07:30
Hits: 23074
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Rating: 2.01 (47 Vote(s))
File size: 358.8 KB
Added by: Eternity

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