TSNDD Info Thread

Discussion in 'Games, Jokes, and Fun!' started by ducky 13, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. I received this info off this site, also for more info go to this site


    Hyena (or Hyæna) is any terrestrial mammal in the subfamily Hyaeninae of the family Hyaenidae of the order Carnivora, typically characterized by a dog-like appearance, powerful jaws, and hind limbs shorter than fore limbs. There are three extant (living) species of hyenas: Crocuta crocuta (spotted hyena or laughing hyena), Hyaena hyaena (striped hyena), and Parahyaena brunnea (brown hyena). A fourth living member of the Hyaenidae family is Proteles cristatus (the aardwolf); however, it is a member of the Protelinae subfamily. The Hyaenidae family is also known as the hyena family, and all members of this family, including the aardwolf, are sometimes designated as hyenas.
    Hyenas are native to Africa, Arabia, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Although they resemble dogs in appearance, they are more closely related to cats, and are placed in the suborder Feliformia ("cat-like") of the order Carnivora, rather than the suborder Caniformia ("dog-like").
    There is a historical tendency for people to have strongly negative views toward hyenas. Their scavenger nature, including scavenging graves for food, has led people to associate hyenas with gluttony, uncleanliness, and cowardice, and in some local cultures they have been associated with demons and witches. The haunting laughter-like calls of the spotted hyena, which resembles hysterical human laughter, has only added to those negative feelings and inspired the idea in local cultures that they could imitate human voices and call their victims by name. While also seen as wise and clever, the hyenas' knowledge has been seen to be that of the debased, profane, and earthly kind, and they have been looked at as greedy hermaphrodites, and associated with deviant sexual behavior.

    Notwithstanding these negative associations of people, hyenas actually are key components of most African ecosystems and some ecosystems in Asia. The spotted hyena is perhaps the most abundant carnivore on the African continent, and all are integral to food chains. Their ability to fulfill their role in harmony with humans requires a greater awareness of their importance, viewing hyenas in a more positive light.

    Hyenas bear some physical resemblance to canids. However, they are placed in a biological family that is most closely related to Herpestidae (the family of mongooses and meerkats). The three living species of hyenas have among the strongest jaws in the animal kingdom and an adult of the species has only the big cats (lions) to fear. The fourth member of the hyena family, the insectivorous aardwolf, does not have such powerful jaws, given its diet consists mainly of termites, other insect larvae, and carrion.
    All three hyena species, and the aardwolf, have a distinctly bear-like gait and sloping posture due to their front legs being longer than their hind legs. The aardwolf, striped hyena, and brown hyena have luxurious, striped pelts and manes lining the top of their necks, which erect when frightened. The spotted hyena's fur is considerably shorter and is spotted rather than striped. Unlike other species, its mane is reversed forwards.

    Hyenas are highly intelligent animals. One indication of hyena intelligence is that they will move their kills closer to each other to protect them from scavengers; another indication is their strategic hunting methods (Lind 1977).
    The majority of hyena species show little sexual dimorphism, usually with males being only slightly larger than the females. The spotted hyena is an exception to this, as females are larger than the males and dominate them. One unusual feature of the spotted hyena is that females have an enlarged clitoris called a pseudo-penis or demi-penis. Female hyenas give birth, copulate, and urinate through their protruding genitalia, which stretches to allow the male penis to enter for copulation, and it also stretches during birth. The anatomical position of the genitalia gives females total sexual control over who is allowed to mate with them. Researchers originally thought that one of the things that causes this characteristic of the genitals is androgens that are expressed to the fetus very early on in its development. However, it was discovered that when the androgens are held back from the fetus, the development of the female genitalia was not altered.
    All species, including the aardwolf, excrete an oily, yellow substance from their anal glands onto objects to mark their territories. When scent marking, the anal pouch is turned inside out, or everted. Hyenas also do this as a submissive posture to more dominant hyenas. Genitals, the anal area, and the anal glands are sniffed during greeting ceremonies in which each hyena lifts its leg and allows the other to sniff its anal sacks and genitals. All four species maintain latrines far from the main denning area where dung is deposited. Scent marking is also done by scraping the ground with the paws, which deposits scent from glands on the bottoms of the feet.
    With the exception of the striped hyena, which have been seen in the jungles of India, hyena species generally reside in arid environments like African savannas and deserts.
    With the exception of the aardwolf, all extant members of Hyaenidae are efficient scavengers. Not only do they have extremely strong jaws in relation to their body size, but they also have a very powerful digestive system with highly acidic fluids, making them capable of eating and digesting almost their entire prey, including skin, teeth and bones, parts of horns, and even hooves. Parts of the hair, horns, and hooves that are not completely digested are regurgitated. Since they eat carrion, their digestive system deals very well with bacteria. The spotted hyena, however, is primarily a predator, unlike its cousins.


    Spotted hyena
    The spotted hyena or laughing hyena (Crocuta crocuta) are native to Africa and are best known for a chirping, birdlike bark that resembles the sound of hysterical human laughter. Though often labeled incorrectly as a scavenger, the spotted hyena is actually a powerful hunter, the majority of its nourishment being derived from live prey. Spotted hyenas are the most common predator in sub-Saharan Africa, living in savanna, dry woodland, and desert habitats. Spotted hyenas are successful pack hunters of small to large sized ungulates.

    Striped hyena

    The striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) is closely related to the brown hyena. It lives in Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and western India. It is extinct in Europe, but can occasionally be spotted in Anatolia, Turkey. It is the smallest of the three extant hyena species. Striped hyenas are largely scavengers, but will also eat small animals, fruit, and insects. Larger subspecies are known to hunt animals as large as wild boar. They are nomadic, moving from water hole to water hole, but never straying more than 6 miles from one. Like many other animals of hot climates, their ears radiate heat.
    The striped hyena is generally considered solitary, but has some social organization. It forages individually and is rarely seen in groups. It does, however, associate in small family groups at the den. Striped hyena live in the tropical savanna, grasslands, semi-desert, scrub forest, and woodland.

    Brown hyena

    The brown hyena (Parahyaena brunnea, formerly Hyaena brunnea) lives mainly in the Kalahari and Namib deserts of southern Africa. The intermediate-sized extant hyena, this species is 110-136 cm (43-53 in) in body length, 64-88 cm (25-35 in) tall at the shoulder, and weighs 37-55 kg (82-121 lb), though exceptional larger individuals are known. It is smaller than the spotted hyena, and unlike its spotted cousin, is largely a scavenger. It is the largest land animal to derive most of its diet from scavenging, although they will also hunt small mammals. Because of the scarcity of food in the desert, the brown hyena supplements its diet with fruit and vegetables, and along the Namib coastline they are known to snatch seal pups.
    Like spotted hyena, the brown hyena lives in packs. However, brown hyena clans are much smaller (ranging between 4 and 15 members) and less organized, and do not hunt cooperatively. A particularly large food source may draw several of the clan to it, and they will work together to defend their find. They will also defend their territories as a group. Brown hyena can generally chase off leopard, caracal, or cheetah, but spotted hyena will drive them from kills. Brown hyena often feed from lion kills, but lions dominate and occasionally kill brown hyena.
    Unlike the spotted hyena, the females do not have enlarged clitoris, and males are slightly larger than females.

    The Hyena Language

    Hyena's giggle is not actually laughter, but a sound of frustration. New research found a way to distinguish individual hyenas based on the peculiarities of their, well, let's call them fighting words.
    Until now these squeaky cackles have not been well understood by scientists. Researchers recorded the sounds and did the first ever acoustic analysis of them to understand how the calls vary between individuals, and when they are used.
    The scientists found that hyenas usually made these noises when they were fighting for food, or in some kind of social conflict.

    "When a group of hyenas is feeding upon the prey you hear a lot of these giggles, especially during conflict between two individuals," said biologist Nicolas Mathevon of the Jean Monnet University in France, who is a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
    Mathevon and colleagues monitored 17 captive hyenas at Berkeley, and measured the length, frequency (pitch) and the amplitude (volume) of each of their giggles. They found that the pitch of the sound depended on the hyena's social status: Subordinate individuals made noises that were more varied and higher in pitch.

    the hyena call is actually a sign of frustration, according to research that has been presented May 21, 2009 at an Acoustical Society of America meeting.

    The Hyena Society

    Hyena society is very complex, and is matrilineal, meaning females rule the roost. There is intense competition for food, and social status plays a big role in an individual's life.
    "The females are dominant, and there's very strong hierarchy, especially when they are feeding," Mathevon told LiveScience. "Apparently the subordinate animals emit more giggles than the dominant ones. That’s why we think it's more a frustration call."
    Though the study was conducted in captivity, much of the hyena's social behaviors appear unchanged. The researchers think their results apply to hyenas in the wild, though doing more tests in the field will confirm the findings.
    "The hyena society is so complicated that they really need efficient means of communication between individuals," Mathevon said. "I think this call is just part of a very complex communication system which includes a lot of different sounds, as well as chemical systems and visual systems."
    The biologists found that they could tell many individuals apart from their giggles alone, which often have peculiarities of pitch and volume related to their age and social standing in the group. A future research goal is to try to determine if hyenas use the calls to identify each other. This study is part of a larger project to study the role of acoustic communication in various animal species.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  2. For more info go to this site, this is also where I got this info


    Dingo (plural: dingoes or dingos) is the common name for a type of Australian canid, Canis lupus dingo, characterized by a wolf-like head with erect, pointed ears, long legs, bushy tail, and soft and short fur that typically ranges in color from yellowish to yellowish red to reddish brown, with white often on the underside, tip of tail, and paws. Although commonly described as an "Australian wild dog," the dingo is not restricted to Australia, with modern dingoes also found throughout Southeast Asia, mostly in small pockets of remaining natural forest in Indonesia, Papau New Guinea, Malaysia, Philippines, Burma, Thailand, and southern China. The mainland Australian populations, which today are particularly in the north, are believed to have been introduced from Southeast Asia by aboriginal settlers thousands of years ago.
    The dingo is largely indistinguishable on morphological characteristics from the closely related domestic dog. In Australia, as a result of interbreeding with dogs introduced by European settlers, the purebred dingo gene pool is in decline. By the early-1990s, about a third of all wild dingoes in the south-east of the continent were dingo/domestic dog crosses, and although the process of interbreeding is less advanced in more remote areas, there is danger of the extinction of the subspecies in the wild. Although protection within Federal National Parks, World Heritage areas, Aboriginal reserves, and the Australian Capital Territory is available for dingoes, they are at the same time classified as a pest in other areas. Since a lack of country-wide protection means they may be trapped or poisoned in many areas, in conjunction with the hybridization with domestic dogs, the taxon was upgraded from "Lower Risk/Least Concern" to "Vulnerable" by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) in 2004.
    While sometimes considered as a pest, or even a danger to people, ecologically, dingoes also can help to control prey populations. They consume a wide diversity of food, including insects, mice, rats, rabbits, possums, and kangaroos. (They also will consume various plant matter.) Some have maintained that their reintroduction of the dingoes to some areas of Australia could help in controlling introduced feral cats and red foxes. However, the introduction of the dingo itself has been blamed for the extinction of the thylacine (Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf)


    The dingo has somewhat long legs, a bushy tail, short fur, and erect, pointed ears. Compared to similarly sized domestic dogs, dingoes tend to have longer muzzles, larger carnassials, longer canine teeth, and a flatter skull with larger nuchal lines (Corbett 2005). Their dental formula is 3/3-1/1-4/4-2/3=42 (Corbett 2005). Dingoes lack the same degree of tooth crowding and jaw-shortening that distinguishes other dog breeds from wolves (DBI 2008).
    Adult dingoes are typically 48 to 58 centimeters (19–23 inches) tall at the shoulders and weigh on average 23 to 32 kilograms (50–70 pounds), though specimens weighing 55 kilograms (120 pounds) have been recorded (DBI 2008). The length from nose to tip of the tail averages around 123 centimeters (48 inches) (Rudolph 2003). Males are larger and heavier than females (Corbett 2005). Dingoes in southern Australia tend to be smaller than dingoes occurring in northern and north-western Australia. Australian dingoes are invariably larger than specimens occurring in Asia.
    Fur color is typically yellow-ginger, though tan, black, white, or sandy including occasional brindle can occur. Albino dingoes have been reported (DBI 2008). Any other colors are indicators of hybridization (Corbett 2005). Purebred dingoes have white hair on their feet and tail tip and lack dewclaws on their hindlegs (DBI 2008).
    Dingoes have features in common with both wolves and modern dogs and are regarded as more or less unchanged descendants of an early ancestor of modern dogs. The dingo cannot be easily or reliably distinguished based on external appearance (Rudolph 2003). The chromosome number of the dingo is 2n=78 (Corbett 2005), as with the domestic dog. Among notable behavior differences from the domestic dog is that the dingo breeds only once a year and it seldom barks, but rather howls.
    The dingo once was thought to be descended from the Iranian wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) (Jones et al. 1992). DNA analysis has indicated it to be more closely related to domestic dogs, suggesting that they were introduced from a population of domesticated dogs, possibly at a single occasion during the Austronesian expansion into Island Southeast Asia (Savolainen et al. 2004).
    The name dingo comes from the language of the Eora Aboriginal people, who were the original inhabitants of the Sydney area. The New Guinea singing dog is also classified as Canis lupus dingo. The dingo also is known by the common name of Warrigal.
    Temperament and behavior
    Dingoes are mostly seen alone, though the majority belong to packs that rendezvous once every few days to socialize or mate (Corbett 2005). Scent marking, howling, and stand offs against rival packs increase in frequency during these times. Packs of dingoes can number 3 to 12 individuals in areas with little human disturbance, with distinct male and female dominance hierarchies determined through aggression. Successful breeding is typically restricted to the dominant pair, though subordinate pack members will assist in rearing the puppies (Corbett 2005).
    The size of a dingo's territory has little to do with pack size, and more to do with terrain and prey resources. Dingoes in south-western Australia have the largest home ranges . Dingoes will sometimes disperse from the natal home ranges, with one specimen having been recorded to travel 250 kilometers (155 miles). Males scent mark more frequently than females, peaking during the breeding season (Corbett 2005).
    Dingoes do not bark as much as domestic dogs, which can be very loud, and dingoes howl more frequently. Three basic howls with over 10 variations have been recorded. Howling is done to attract distant pack members and it repels intruders. In chorus howling, the pitch of the howling increases with the number of participating members (Corbett 2005).

    Dietary habits

    Dingoes feeding on human handouts in Borneo
    Over 170 different animal species have been recorded in Australia as part of the dingo's diet, ranging from insects to water buffalo.
    Prey specialization varies according to region. In Australia's northern wetlands, the most common prey are magpie geese, dusky rats, and agile wallabies, while in arid central Australia, the most frequent prey items are European rabbits, long-haired rats, house mice, lizards, and red kangaroos. In north-western habitats, Eastern wallaroos and red kangaroos are usually taken, while wallabies, possums, and wombats are taken in the east and south eastern highlands. In Asia, dingoes live in closer proximity to humans, and will readily feed on rice, fruit, and human refuse. Dingoes have been observed hunting insects, rats, and lizards in rural areas of Thailand and Sulawesi. Dingoes in Australia will sometimes prey on livestock in times of seasonal scarcity (Corbett 2005).
    Dingoes will usually hunt alone when targeting small prey such as rabbits and will hunt in groups for large prey like kangaroos (Corbett 2005).


    Like wolves, but unlike domestic dogs, dingoes reproduce once annually. Male dingoes are fertile throughout the year, whereas females are only receptive during their annual estrus cycle. Females become sexually mature at the age of two years, while males reach sexual maturity at 1 to 3 years of age. Dominant females within packs will typically enter estrus earlier than subordinates. Captive dingoes typically have a pro-estrus and estrus period lasting 10–12 days, while for wild specimens it can be as long as 2 months (Corbett 2005).
    The gestation period of the dingo lasts 61 to 69 days, with litters usually being composed of 5 puppies. There is usually a higher ratio of females born than males. Puppies are usually born from May to July, though dingoes living in tropical habitats can reproduce at any time of the year. Puppies are usually born in caves, dry creekbeds or appropriated rabbit or wombat burrows. Puppies become independent at 3 to 6 months, though puppies living in packs will sometimes remain with their group until the age of 12 months. Unlike in wolf packs, in which the dominant animals prevent subordinates from breeding, alpha dingoes suppress subordinate reproduction through infanticide (Corbett 2005).
    Crossbreeding with other dogs

    Dingo crossbreeds
    Crossbreeding with pet and feral domestic dogs is currently thought to be the dingo's greatest threat for survival. Up to 80 percent of the wild dogs along Australia’s eastern seaboard are thought to be dog-dingo crossbreeds. The current Australian policy is to cull hybrids while protecting purebreds. This has proved effective on Fraser Island in Queensland, where dingoes are confined and introgression of domestic dog genes can be controlled. It has however proven to be problematic on mainland Australia, to the point where it is estimated that at the current rate of genetic introgression, pure dingoes should go extinct within 50 years.
    Conservationists are generally split into two groups; those who view crossbreeding as detrimental to the dingo's uniqueness, and those who believe genetics and appearance are irrelevant, as long as the animals maintain their ecological niche (Corbett 2004). All in all, little is known about the long-term effects of crossbreeding and crossbreeds cannot always be distinguished from pure dingoes.
    Some people claim that the Australian kelpie has some dingo blood; as it was illegal to keep dingoes as pets, some dingo owners registered their animals as kelpies or kelpie crosses. It should be noted that kelpies and dingoes are very similar in conformation and coloring. There is no doubt that some have deliberately mated dingoes to their kelpies.
    Hybrids may enter estrus twice annually, and have a gestation period of 58–65 days, but it is not sure whether they successfully raise two litters (Corbett 2005).
    Relationship with invasive species
    In Australia, dingoes compete for the same food supply as introduced feral cats and red foxes, and also prey upon them (as well as on feral pigs). A study at James Cook University has concluded that the reintroduction of dingoes would help control the populations of these pests, lessening the pressure on native biodiversity (Millen 2006). The author of the study, Professor Chris Johnson, notes his first-hand observations of native rufous bettongs being able to thrive when dingoes are present. The rate of decline of ground-living mammals decreases from 50 percent or more, to just 10 percent or less, where dingoes are present to control fox and cat populations.

    Social behaviour

    The dingo's social behaviour is about as flexible as that of a coyote or gray wolf, which is perhaps one of the reasons it was initially believed that the dingo was descended from the Indian wolf. While young males are often solitary and nomadic in nature, breeding adults will often form a settled pack. However, in areas of the dingo's habitat with a widely spaced population, breeding pairs remain together, apart from others.

    Where conditions are favourable among dingo packs, the pack is stable with a distinct territory and little overlap between neighbors. The size of packs often appears to correspond to the size of prey that appears in the pack's territory. Desert areas have smaller groups of dingoes with a more loose territorial behaviour and sharing of the water sites. It has been noted that the average monthly pack size was between three and twelve members.

    Similar to other canids, a dingo pack largely consists of a mated pair, their current year's offspring, and occasionally a previous year's offspring. There are dominance hierarchies both between and within males and females, with males usually being more dominant than females. However, a few exceptions have been noted in captive packs. During travel, while eating prey, or when approaching a water source for the first time, the breeding male will be seen as the leader, or alpha. Subordinate dingoes will approach a more dominant dog in a slightly crouched posture, ears flat and tail down, to ensure peace in the pack.Establishment of artificial packs in captive dingoes have failed.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  3. Fennec or fennec fox is the common name for a small, nocturnal canid, Vulpes zerda (synonym Fennecus zerda), characterized by very large, pointed ears, long tail, and highly social behavior. It is found in the central Sahara Desert as well as other desert and mountainous regions of North Africa.
    A nocturnal omnivore, at night the fennec hunts rodents, insects, birds, and eggs of birds and insects. Much of the its diet also is desert vegetation, from which the fennec gets most of its water. This consists of grasses, some roots, and some fruit and berries.

    Ecologically, in addition to helping in the control of prey populations, the fennec also is integral to desert food chains, providing food for vultures, hyenas, jackals, and various birds of prey (hawks, eagles). For humans, fennecs sometimes are raised as pets, being the only fox that can properly be kept as a household pet. While these nocturnal animals are difficult to spot in the wild, tending to stay in their burrows during the hot day, they are attractions in zoos. Despite these values, their populations remain at risk due to sport hunting and habitat disruption.
    Overview and description

    There is debate among scientists as to whether the fennec fox belongs to the genus Vulpes (true foxes). It has uncharacteristic behaviors, such as packs, called "harems," while all other foxes are solitary. It also has only 32 chromosome pairs, while other foxes have 35 to 39. This has led to two conflicting classifications: Vulpes zerda, implying that the fennec is a true fox, and Fennecus zerda, implying that the fennec belongs to its own genus.

    Fennecs are the smallest members of the Canidae family and are smaller than an average house cat (Adams and Myers 2004). They have a body length of from 30 to 40 centimeters (12-16 inches), with the long tail adding an additional 18 to 30 centimeters (7-12 inches); they stand about 18 to 22 centimeters (7-9 inches) at the shoulder (Adams and Myers 2004). The ears are very large relatively, with the pinnae being about 15 centimeters (6 inches) long. Males reach up to 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds), but the females reach only about 0.8 kilograms (1.8 pounds) (Adams and Myers 2004).
    The fennec's distinctively long ears serve to scatter heat and to hear the movement of prey at night. Its ears, as well as the enlarged auditory bullae, are sensitive enough to hear large insects, such as beetles and locusts, walk on the sand, as well as prey under the sand.
    The coats of fennecs are often a sandy color on the dorsal surface, allowing them to blend with their desert surroundings. The coat is often white along the face, legs, and underside. The fennec's fur tends to be silky and thick. It reflects sunlight during the day and conserves heat at night. The soles of the fennec's feet also have thick fur, protecting them from the hot sand. The tail is black-tipped. There also is black on the vibrissae, rhinal pad, and over the violet gland (Adams and Myers 2004).

    Distribution and habitat

    Fennecs are most common in the central Sahara. However, they also are found from northern Morocco, east to the northern tip of the Red Sea to Kuwait, and south into Chad and Nigeria (Adams and Myers 2004).
    Fennecs are adapted to desert life and found mainly in arid, sandy regions. Since desert grasses and other vegetation is used for water and for support and lining of their dens, the presence of such plants also is important (Adams and Myers 2004). Fennecs do not require free standing water, but can obtain their water from the vegetation.

    Behavior, diet, and reproduction

    Fennec resting at Africa Alive in Lowestoft, England
    Unlike most foxes, fennecs are highly social, living together in family groups of up to ten members, including usually one breeding pair, a litter of immature pups, and perhaps some older siblings (Adams and Myers 2004). They have a number of vocalizations, including chatters, whimpers, wails, growls, and shrieks (Adams and Myers 2004).
    Fennecs tend to spend most of the daytime hours underground in burrows, while hunting at night. By sleeping during the day in burrows, they are protected from the hot sun of their desert environment. They did the burrows themselves, and the burrows can become extensive tunnel systems with several entrances (Adams and Myers 2004).
    Despite their gregarious nature, fennecs typically hunt alone. They are opportunistic hunters, feeding on whatever they can catch, including rodents, lizards, insects, eggs, and birds, as well as consuming fruit, leaves, and roots, with the plant materials also providing the source of water for the fennec.
    The breeding season is normally January through March. After about 52 days of gestation, a female gives birth to a litter of 2 to 5 young. She keeps males out of the den until the offspring are older. The young rely on their mother's milk for about a month. The mother may give birth once a year, although twice a year is possible but very rare.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  4. Jackal is the common name for Old World, coyote-like mammals in any of three species in the genus Canis of the family Canidae: Canis aureus (golden jackal), Canis adustus (side-striped jackal), and Canis mesomelas (black-backed jackal. These small to medium-sized canids, with long legs and curved canine teeth, are found in Africa, Asia, and southeastern Europe. The name jackal sometimes also is applied to a fourth canid species, Canis simensis, which may be known as the red jackal, Abyssinian wolf, red fox, or Ethiopian snub nosed raven. However, this species generally is considered closer to the wolf (also a member of the Canis genus) and is not considered in this article.
    All species of jackal are capable predators. (All three hunt rodents and small mammals regularly, with the golden and black-backed species known to hunt poisonous snakes, large ground birds such as bustards, and mammals as large as young antelope. Some also take some vegetative matter, such as berries.) However, their popular image as scavengers has resulted in a negative public image.

    Overview and description

    The genus to which jackals belong, Canis, contains about 7 to 10 extant species and many extinct species, including wolves, dogs, coyotes, and dingoes. The jackal generally is applied to members of any of three (sometimes four) small to medium-sized species of the family Canidae, found in Africa, Asia and southeastern Europe (Ivory 1999).
    Jackals fill a similar ecological niche to the coyote in North America, that of predators of small to medium-sized animals, scavengers, and omnivores. Their long legs and curved canine teeth are adapted for hunting small mammals, birds, and reptiles. Big feet and fused leg bones give them a long-distance runner's physique, capable of maintaining speeds of 16 kilometers/hour (10 miles per hour) (just over 6 minutes/mile) for extended periods of time. They are nocturnal, most active at dawn and dusk.
    In jackal society, the social unit is that of a monogamous pair that defends its territory from other pairs. These territories are defended by vigorously chasing intruding rivals and marking landmarks around the territory with urine and feces. The territory may be large enough to hold some young adults who stay with their parents until they establish their own territory. Jackals may occasionally assemble in small packs, for example to scavenge a carcass, but normally hunt alone or as a pair.

    Golden jackal

    The golden jackal (Canis aureus), also called the Asiatic, oriental, or common jackal, is native to north and east Africa, southeastern Europe, and South Asia to Burma. It is the largest of the jackals, and the only species to occur outside Africa, with 13 different subspecies being recognized (Wozencraft 2005).
    The golden jackal's short, coarse fur is usually yellow to pale gold and brown-tipped, though the color can vary with season and region. On the Serengeti Plain in Northern Tanzania for example, the golden jackal's fur is brown-grizzled yellow in the wet season (December-January), changing to pale gold in the dry season (September-October) (Ivory 1999). Jackals living in mountainous regions may have a grayer shade of fur (Jhala and Moehiman 2005).

    The golden jackal is generally 70 to 105 centimeters (28–42 inches) in length, with a tail length of about 25 centimeters (10 inches). Its standing height is approximately 38 to 50 centimeters (16–20 inches) at the shoulder. Average weight is 7 to 15 kilograms (15–33 pounds), with males tending to be 15 percent heavier than the females (Ivory 1999; Postanowicz 2008a). Scent glands are present on the face and the anus and genital regions. Females have 4-8 mammae (Postanowicz 2008a). The dental formula is I 3/3 C 1/1 Pm 4/4 M 2/3 = 42 (Jhala and Moehiman 2005).
    In all their ranges, the golden jackal displays a great deal of diversity in appearance. Jackals living in north Africa tend to be larger and have longer carnassials than those living in the Middle East (Macdonald 1992). Moroccan golden jackals are paler and have more pointed snouts than Egyptian golden jackals (Hutchinson 1923).
    The golden jackal generally is grouped with the other jackals (the black-backed jackal and the side-striped jackal), although genetic research suggests that the golden jackal is more closely related to a "wolf" group that also includes the gray wolf (and the domestic dog) and the coyote (Lindblad-Toh et al. 2005). The genetic evidence is consistent with the form of the skull, which also bears more similarities to those of the coyote and the gray wolf than to those of the other jackal species (Jhala and Moehiman 2005).

    Side-striped jackal

    The side-striped jackal (Canis adustus) is native to central and southern Africa (Wozencraft 2005). it is a grayish brown to tan with a white stripe from the front legs to the hips and has a dark tail that has a white tip. The side-striped Jackal can weigh from 6.2 to 13.6 kilograms (14 to 30 pounds), with males tending to be larger than the females. It is social within small family groups, communicating via yips, "screams," and a soft owl like hooting call. It is nocturnal, and rarely active during the day.
    The side-striped jackal lives in the damp woodland areas along with grassland, bush, and marshes. It eats fruit, insects, and small mammals such as rats, hares, and birds. It will go for the young of larger animals such as warthogs and gazelles. It also will often follow big cats to scavenge their kills, but has never been observed taking down larger prey on its own.
    The breeding season for this species depends on where they live; in southern Africa breeding starts in June and ends in November. The side-striped Jackal has a gestation period of 57 to 70 days with average litter of 3 to 6 young. The young reach sexual maturity at 6 to 8 months old and typically begin to leave when 11 months old. The side-striped jackal mates for life, forming monogamous pairs.

    Black-backed jackal

    The black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas), also known as the silver-backed jackal, inhabits two areas of the African continent separated by roughly 900 kilometers. One region includes the southern-most tip of the continent including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. The other area is along the eastern coastline, including Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia (Fishman 2000).
    As its name suggests, the species' most distinguishing feature is the silver-black fur running from the back of the neck to the base of the tail. The chest and under parts are white to rusty-white, whereas the rest of the body ranges from reddish brown to ginger. Females tend not to be as richly colored as males, like many other animals, such as ducks. The winter coat of adult males develops a reddish to an almost deep russet red color (Fishman 2000).
    The black-backed jackal is typically 32 to 42 centimeters (14 to 19 inches) high at the shoulder, 45-90 centimeters (18-36 inches) long, and 15 to 30 pounds (7–13.5 kilograms) in weight (Postanowicz 2008b). Specimens in the southern part of the continent tend to be larger than their more northern cousins (Fishman 2000).
    The black-backed jackal is noticeably more slender than other species of jackals, with large, erect, pointed ears. The muzzle is long and pointed. The dental formula is 3/3-1/1-4/4-2/3=42 (Loveridge and Nel 2005). Scent glands are present on the face and the anus and genital regions. The Black-backed Jackal has 6-8 mammae (Postanowicz 2008b).
    The black-backed jackal usually lives together in pairs that last for life, but often hunts in packs to catch larger prey such as the Impala and antelopes. It is very territorial; each pair dominates a permanent territory. It is mainly nocturnal, but the black-backed Jackal comes out in the day occasionally.
    These jackals adapt their diets to the available food sources in their habitat. It often scavenges, but it is also a successful hunter. Its omnivorous diet includes, among other things the Impala, fur seal cubs, gazelles, guineafowls, insects, rodents, hares, lizards, snakes, fruits and berries, domestic animals such as sheep and goats, and carrion. As with most other species of small canids, jackals typically forage alone or in pairs. When foraging, the black-backed Jackal moves with a distinctive trotting gait.
    Its predators include the leopard and humans. Jackals are sometimes killed for their furs, or because they are considered predators of livestock.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  5. I got this info from this site


    Bat-eared Fox Quick Facts

    Family: Canidae (Wild dogs, Foxes, Jackals)

    Scientific Name: Otocyon megalotis

    Average Shoulder Height: 35 cm (14 in)

    Weight: 3 - 5 kg (6.6 - 11 lb)

    Gestation Period: 60 days

    Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years

    Bat-eared foxes are, together with wild dogs and jackals, part of the Canidae family. As the name suggests, the disproportionately large ears are the most distinguishing feature of this small, attractive mammal.

    Something else unusual about bat-eared foxes is their playfulness in the wild, even as adults. So it's not unusual to find a pair of adults apparently having fun as they play-chase or mock fight with fierce-sounding growls. Individuals will also play with random objects, like throwing a twig in the air or attacking a tuft of grass

    The bat-eared fox has a jackal-like appearance with slender legs and a long, pointy muzzle. The large ears, that can grow up to 14 cm (nearly 6 in) in length, are dark at the back and tips, but paler on the inside with light gray around the edges.

    The coat of the bat-eared fox is a silvery color and quite grizzled, while the legs are black, as is the top and tip of the bushy tail. The mouth, eyes, and nose are generally dark, with paler areas below the eyes and a pale, nearly white strip, running across the forehead up to the ears.

    This fox is both diurnal and nocturnal, but stays hidden during the hotter hours of the day. It spends a lot of its time digging its own burrows. Pairs mate for life, and will form a group comprising the male, the female and their offspring.

    Diet: Bat-eared foxes eat mostly insects - about 80% of their food - but also eat reptiles, small rodents and wild fruits. Their speciality is to hunt for beetle larvae under the ground which it locates by sound, using its huge ears for this.

    Reproduction: Four to six pups are born to each pair after a 60-day gestation period. The mother has her babies in a burrow, usually from September to November (Spring or early Summer) in southern Africa.

    When the pups are born they are a pale gray color, with their eyes closed at birth. They remain underground for about three weeks, after which they start emerging from their burrow, usually under the watch of their parents. The pups will leave the family at about seven months old.

    Bat-eared foxes make a soft "who-who" sound, but under stress will growl and vocalize with a loud, metallic chattering.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  6. I used the site below for this info


    Quick Wild Dog Information

    Family: Canidae(Wild dogs, Foxes, Jackals)

    Scientific Name:Lycaon pictus

    Average shoulder height: 65 to 80 cm

    Weight: 20 to 30 kg

    Gestation period: 60 to 73 days (+-10 weeks)

    Life expectancy: Approx 10 yrs

    The African Wild Dog (also known as African Painted Dog) is similar in size to a domestic Alsation dog (German shepherd). It has large, rounded ears, long legs and a bushy, white tipped tail.

    The whole body is randomly colored with a mixture of black, white, brown and yellow blotches, which is why the African wild dog is sometimes called the African Painted Dog. The color pattern is unique to each individual, with no two dogs having the same markings.

    The wild dog's muzzle is black, with a black line of fur running from the muzzle to a point midway between the ears.

    Wild dogs are active during the day because they rely mainly on sight to hunt. They also take advantage of bright moonlight for hunting, and tend to rest in shady areas during the hottest time of the day.

    Wild dogs are higly social animals, living in very close-knit packs comprising from two to 50 dogs.

    Wild dogs do not have territories but instead have enormous home ranges, covering hundreds of square km, over which they roam and hunt prey.

    They are highly specialised hunters, able to run at speeds up to 65 kph and maintain a pace of 56 kph (35 mph) for several kilometers.

    Wild dog pups are born during the dry, winter months (March to July) when the grass is short and the hunting conditions are at their best. Between two to 10 pups are born after a gestation period of 69 to 73 days. Pups are born in abandoned burrows of other animals and stay near their den for the first three months of their lives.

    Hunting and Diet:
    Wild dogs are strictly carnivorous and are specialised hunters of medium sized antelope such as impala and wildebeest, but also catch animals as small as rabbits.

    The wild dog only kills for its immediate needs. The pack moves slowly towards the prey. A long chase then takes place, sometimes up to several kilometers.

    The prey either starts to get weary, or weakens after shock or loss of blood and then is overpowered by the pack. Dogs take bites out of the animal while it is still on the move but the victim's death is usually quick. See also Wild Dogs - Efficient Hunters that Kill to Eat.

    The wild dog is a very vocal species with a wide range of different calls. When the animal is excited, it gives a high pitched giggly twitter. Its long range call is a "hoo hoo" sound which carries for two to three kms. Wild dogs also whine, growl and bark threateningly, and their alarm call is a gruff bark.

    Other names:
    The African wild dog is also known as the African Hunting Dog, Cape Hunting Dog, and Painted Dog.

    The African Wild Dog Society

    African Wild Dogs or Painted Dogs (Lycaon pictus) have a remarkable social system totally based on co-operation. On average, packs consist of about 10 adults although they may be smaller or much bigger.

    Within each pack there are separate rank structures for male and female animals; normally only the alpha male and female will breed, producing a litter of six to 16 pups (the most of any canid) and the whole pack helps feed the suckling mother and the pups (after 3-4 weeks) by regurgitating food.

    When occasionally a subordinate female has pups, they do not usually survive, although it has happened. This may be because unless it is a very large pack it will be difficult to feed more than one litter.

    The pups remain in the den for 8-10 weeks. When the pack returns from hunting the adults run up with twittering cries and flip the pups over and lick them while the pups beg for food which is regurgitated for them.

    When they are old enough the pups will straggle after the hunt; the adults having killed will immediately gorge themselves but as soon as the pups arrive they beg for food and the adults make way for them on the kill. Decrepit or injured dogs that can't keep up will also beg and receive food, either direct from the kill or regurgitated for them.

    This begging behaviour is the basis of social interaction between wild dogs throughout their lives.

    Like most predators they spend most of their time resting; when one of them (not necessarily the alpha male or female) decides it is time to go hunting they all get up and perform a greeting ceremony consisting of mutually submissive behaviour based on the begging rituals.

    Like that equally endangered species, the English gentleman, they seem to go through life saying "After you" - "No, after you." There is so seldom any overt aggression among wild dogs that often the only way to identify the alpha pair is to watch them urine-mark: when the alpha female urinates the alpha male will immediately do the same on top of it.

    It is well-known that unlike most social animals (eg lions), among wild dogs it is the females who leave their natal pack to seek breeding opportunities, but it may be more complicated than that.

    Recent research indicates that the pack may split if either alpha dog dies, the males remaining in their home range and the females emigrating to find males unrelated to them.

    If the alpha male dies, the surviving alpha female retains her rank in the female group, usually for life. If either the alpha male or female dies however the dominant male from, surprisingly, the youngest adult group in the pack will take over as alpha male. His predecessor, if still alive, remains in the pack as a subordinate.

    This "pack dissolution" system would be very effective in preventing in-breeding, but it depends on there being other packs in adjoining home ranges which the emigrating females can link with and from which new females can come, and in many areas nowadays that is a big problem. The same researcher believes that male dogs will not accept older unrelated dogs as alphas, which has major implications for re-introduction programmes.

    Not long ago wild dogs were regarded as vermin
    Wild dogs are now critically endangered and extinct over much of their original range. They have suffered more than most species because of ignorance and misconceptions; unbelievably, up to as recently as the 1970s there was a deliberate campaign to exterminate them even in many game reserves.

    Nowadays human encroachment is a major threat as wild dogs cover huge areas, which makes them particularly vulnerable to snaring.

    There have also been some major population crashes in areas such as the Serengeti in recent years, probably because of diseases such as rabies and distemper although the cause of the outbreak is the subject of a quietly vicious dispute among academics; phrases like "fatally flawed data" which is the academic equivalent of a kick in the groin are being bandied about.

    Nevertheless all is not lost. There are still wild places where wild dogs are holding their own, and there is good work being done on breeding and reintroduction programmes. If these are to succeed however it will have to be in accordance with the complex social systems of these remarkable and fascinating animals; simply plumping groups together will not work.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015

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