Raccoon dogs look very similar to raccoons but have no genetic similarities between them. They belong to belong to the Canidae family, which are known to have distinct dog and wolf like characteristics and appearance. These animals are both carnivorous and omnivorous mammals.
They are monogamous and will mate for life. It is only if the mate dies or is killed, will the other search for a new mate. Two mates will hibernate in one den. During this period they will maintain close body contact to keep each other warm and will groom each other as well. This is a trait not practiced by canines, as dogs neither hibernate and nor are they monogamous in nature.
The Fennec Fox, also known as the desert fox, is the smallest fox, weighing only just over 2 pounds. Fennecs have very acute hearing and can pick up the movements of their prey or enemies at a considerable distance, even underground. Their large ears, helps them regulate body heat, blood running near the skin in the ear dissipates heat allowing them to stay cool and not overheat on the hot desert sun.
Though cute, furry, and non-stinky, fennecs are very avid diggers. In the wild they build dens by tunneling in the sand, and are capable of digging 20 feet in one night.
Wolves Might Use Their Eyes to Talk to Each Other
It’s no secret that wolves, foxes, and dogs are highly social animals. But beyond all the wagging, pawing and yipping we like to try to interpret, canids may have yet another way to communicate. New research hints at the possibility that dogs and their ilk could be sending each other signals with their eyes.
A team of Japanese researchers looked at pictures of nearly every canid species and found that those with highly social pack and hunting behaviors were more likely to have easily-visible eyes. They then watched some of those species interact in zoos and concluded that those with eyes that were easier to see were more likely to be social. The results were published in a study in PLoS One on June 11.
“What this study shows is that there’s a correlation between facial markings and sociality and the need to communicate,” said zoologist Patricia McConnell of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a dog behavior researcher who was not involved in the study.
The scientists organized 25 different wild canid species according to their facial features (using around a dozen photos of individuals from each species) into three groups and then looked to previous research to characterize the social behavior of each group.
The white-tailed deer is an important prey animal for wolves who live in the wooded areas in Minnesota, Quebec and Ontario.
Picture by Len Rue jr., scanned from the book ‘Wolves’ by Leonard Lee Rue III
The University of Alaska Press recently published a book detailing one biologist’s lifelong effort to chronicle the lives of wolves that live inside the boundary of Denali Park and Preserve.
Little fox, big problem
The European or red fox – Vulpes vulpes – is a handsome animal. It has a pointed muzzle, auburn coat and bushy tail. In Quentin Blake’s famous illustrations for Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox, the titular mammal wears a waistcoat.
But they are one of the most invasive species we’ve got. Foxes are considered a threat to 76 kinds of native birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, including the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot, spotted quail-thrush and western swamp tortoise.
"The fox and the cat, between them, have been responsible for the decline and extinction of many species of native mammals," van der Ree says.
Search the internet for foxes in Melbourne and you’ll see the city declared “the fox capital of the western world” on the authority of the RSPCA, no less. Contacted by Fairfax Media this week, the RSPCA could not confirm it had ever made such a claim.
In fact, we can’t be sure how many foxes there are in the state. The last estimate came from CSIRO research in the early 1990s.
John Matthews, from the Department of Environment and Primary Industry, says there’s no reason to think numbers have changed significantly. But there are more than you think: in country Victoria, foxes number between 1 and 4 per square kilometre. But in the city, where the living is easy, there are four times as many.
Around the wharves and wastelands of Port Melbourne, the vulpine population is at its peak: as many as 20 foxes prowl every square kilometre.
African wild dogs have enormous bat-like ears. In addition to enhancing the dogs’ hearing, these ears help regulate body temperature by dissipating heat via blood circulation.
Image credit: Morkel Erasmus