Meet The Amazing Looking Mountain Wolf (The Dhole) From Asia

The dhole is a canid native to Central, South, and Southeast Asia (Cuon alpinus). Asiatic wild dog, Indian wild dog, whistling dog, red wolf (not to be confused with Canis rufus), red dog, and mountain wolf are other English names for this species.

It is genetically similar to species within the genus Canis, but its skull shape is convex rather than concave, it lacks a third lower molar, and its upper molars have only one cusp as opposed to 2–4. During the Pleistocene, the dhole traveled over Asia, Europe, and North America. However, between 12,000 and 18,000 years ago, it became constrained to its historical range.

The dhole is a highly social creature, as it lives in big clans without tight dominance hierarchies and with several breeding females. Typically, these clans comprise of 12 individuals, however groups of over 40 have been documented. It is a diurnal pack predator that targets medium- and large-sized ungulates with preference. In tropical forests, the dhole fights with tigers and leopards for slightly different prey species, although their diets overlap substantially.

It is categorized as Endangered by the IUCN since populations are expected to number fewer than 2,500 adults and are declining. This decline is caused by habitat loss, prey loss, competition with other species, persecution, and disease transmission from domestic dogs.

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