Other names in Spanish are zorro ojizarco, zorro sabanero, zorro negro. Evolution and systematics[ edit ] After the formation of the Isthmus of Panama in the latter part the Tertiary about 2. Apart from its superficial resemblance to the bush dog , the short-eared dog seems not to be closely related to any fox-like or wolf-like canid. It has a distinctive fox-like muzzle and bushy tail. It ranges from dark to reddish-grey, but can also be nearly navy blue, coffee brown, dark grey, or chestnut-grey to black, and the coat is short, with thick and bristly fur.
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It is very unique, this is the only species assigned to the genus Atelocynus. It lives in different parts of the rainforest environment, preferring areas with little human disturbance. Throughout creation of Isthmus of Panama in the latter part the Tertiary about 2. The latest systematics classifies it as a species in the Canini tribe, and its closest modern relative is probably the Crab-eating Fox Cerdocyon thous. More interesting facts about this wonderful unique doggy: the short-eared Zorro has short and slender limbs with short and rounded ears.
The Short-eared Dog has a distinctive fox-like muzzle and bushy tail. It ranges from dark to reddish-grey, but can also be nearly navy blue, coffee brown, dark grey or chestnut-grey, and the coat is short, with thick and bristly fur. Its paws are partly webbed, owing to its partly aquatic habitat. It moves with feline lightness unparalleled among the other canids. It has a somewhat narrow chest, with dark colour variation on thorax merging to brighter, more reddish tones on the abdominal side of the body.
This species possesses a large elongated head and long canine teeth, protruding even when its muzzle is closed. Its back often has a dark streak, while a brighter stain is on its tail. Like all canids, it has 42 teeth. Typical height at the shoulder is cm. Its head nad body length is about cm, with a tail of about cm. It weighs about kg. This species has some unique behaviours not typical to other canids.
The excited male sprays a musk produced by the tail glands. It prefers a solitary lifestyle, in forest areas. It avoids humans in the natural environment.
Agitated males will raise the hairs on its back. Lifespan and gestation period are unknown, although it is assumed that sexual maturity is reached at about one year of age. Feral dogs pose a prominent threat to the population of the Short-eared Dog, as they proliferate the spread of diseases such as canine distemper and rabies to the wild population. Scientists still have little knowledge on its ecology. A sensational new WildCRU initiative is to launch a research project and study of the short-eared dog, and sympatric carnivores, in one of the largest and most pristine rainforest areas of the world, in the Manu National Park located south east of Peru, between the North of the Cusco Department and the Madre de Dios Department.
The park comes from the Highlands, until the Jungle, it has 2 million Hectares 4. Bearing in mind almost nothing is known of this species, the project will be broadly based, but with a keen eye to the risks of disease caught from domestic dogs along with other conflicts stemming from the human populations outside the park. Planned outputs of the project include a vaccination programme for domestic dogs and a community education programme. Reports suggested that the short-eared dog was relatively common in Peru in the s, but seemingly vanished from the region between and , although our preliminary results are that it is increasing again.
This pattern suggests two working hypotheses. Domestic dogs are known to be an effective lure for jaguars, so perhaps short-eared dogs also attract the attention of these big cats.
In a survey that held in a population of the short-eared-dogs in Manu National Park, along with healthy populations of peccaries, and jaguars. The same survey disclosed, even in the far-off villages in the park, widespread antibody titres for both distemper and parvovirus amongst domestic dogs. In a survey in the Alto Purus Reserved Zone revealed short-eared-dogs, jaguars and even peccaries, and led to the first ever radio-collaring of a short-eared dog.
Two weeks after, this unique creature was shot and killed by local hunters. Share this:.
Short-eared dog (Atelocynus microtis)