DINGO VS AFRICAN WILD DOG – Who would win this battle?


Dingo vs African Wild Dog Who would win the battle between these two dogs? The dingo is legendary as Australia’s wild dog, though it also occurs in Southeast Asia. The Australian animals may be descendents of Asian dingoes that were introduced to the continent some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. The African wild dog is a highly intelligent and social animal. Its Latin name, Lycaon pictus, means “painted wolf-like animal.” An African wild dog’s colorful patchy coat is mottled in shades of brown, black and beige. It has large, rounded bat-like tail ears and dark brown circles around its eyes. African wild dogs are found in arid zones, savannas and grasslands. Description The dingo is a medium sized canine, weighing between 28-52 pounds, with males usually heavier than the females. An average male stands at 20 – 25 inches. Colours vary from sandy yellow to red ginger, and there are a small percentage of dogs who are black, black-tan or white. Usually dingoes will also have white markings on their feet, tail tip and chest. Their overall body shape is very lean. They have pricked ears for good hearing and a bushy tail. Some characteristics of the African wild dog set it apart from other canines. Although tall, it is the bulkiest African canine. The average dog weighs 44 to 55 pounds in East Africa and 54 to 72 pounds in southern Africa. It stands about 24 to 30 inches from the shoulder, with a 28 to 44 inch body length and 11 to 16 inch tail. Females are slightly smaller than males. Its curved, blade-like lower teeth are unusual, only seen in the South American bush dog and Asian dhole. African wild dogs have different fur from other canids. The coat consists entirely of stiff bristles that the animal loses as it ages. There is no underfur. While body marking is unique to each dog, most have a black muzzle with a black line running up the forehead. Although wild dogs communicate vocally, they lack the facial expressions and body language seen in other canids. Habitat Dingoes are found through most of mainland Australia, but are absent from Tasmania. Dingoes are found in all habitat types ranging from alpine, woodland, grassland, desert and tropical regions. There are many different cross breeds of dingo/dog so it is very common to see dingo-like dogs even in suburbia. Truly pure dingoes are extremely rare. Wild dogs are typically found in savanna, grassland and woodland. Their habitats range greatly, and they have even been observed at altitudes of 18,480 feet in the snow of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and in the heat of deserts. These dogs are most active in the early morning and evening, lying in shade during the day. Diet Dingoes are most active at dawn and dusk, when their prey is also active. They eat a variety of animals but the majority of their diet is wallaby and kangaroo. Dingoes are carnivores and have a very varied diet ranging from insects to water buffalo. They are opportunist feeders and will hunt anything including geese, lizards, rabbits, mice and rats. They hunt alone when stalking small prey and in packs when targeting large prey. Dingoes will also scavenge carrion (dead animal carcasses). Since Asian populations live close to human settlements, much of their diet is composed of household refuse including cooked rice, fruits and other table scraps. The African wild dog is a hypercarnivore, which means its diet consists of over 70 percent meat. Packs prefer to hunt antelope, but will also take wildebeest, warthogs, rodents, and birds. The hunting strategy depends on the prey. The pack hunts antelope by sneaking up on the herd and then running down an individual, repeatedly biting it on the legs and belly until it weakens. The wild dog can give chase for 10 to 60 minutes, running at a speed of up to 66 kilometers per hour. The African wild dog has a very high hunting success rate, with 60 to 90 percent of chases resulting in a kill. Another bit of interesting fact about African wild dogs is their hierarchy regarding feeding is very different than most carnivores. In most pack carnivores the adults eat first and then the kids. With African wild dogs they let the young eat first and then the adults. The adults will even regurgitate their food for the young back at the pack home. BEHAVIOUR A group of Dingoes is called a ‘pack’. Some dingoes are solitary, however, most belong to packs which frequently gather to socialise or mate. During these gatherings, dingoes scent mark, howl and get into conflict with each other. Packs of dingoes can consist of 3–12 individuals. Each pack contains a dominant male and female which is decided through aggressive stand-offs. Dingoes are very vocal, however, they do not tend to bark like their dog cousins. Instead they frequently howl and have 3 basic howls over 10 variations. Dingoes howl to attract members of their pack and to warn off intruders. Dingoes are intelligent animals and very independent making them more difficult to train than domestic dogs, although they are still kept as pets by some. Wild dogs are incredibly vocal creatures. Chirps and squeaks reminiscent of bird calls are frequently heard when dogs greet each another. Agitated dogs will bark, and anxious pups sometimes give an owlish “hoo” call. Lions largely disregard wild dogs, but if they come across dogs’ kills they may attempt to chase the dogs off and feed on the carcasses. Wild dogs “sneeze” to vote on pack decisions. The sneeze is a sharp exhalation through the nostrils that signals assent or agreement. When a pack gathers and the dominant mating pair sneeze, departure for hunting is likely. If a less dominant dog sneezes, hunting may occur if enough members of the group also sneeze. Breeding The breeding cycle occurs only once a year and usually runs from March to June. Gestation is 63 days and litter size ranges from four to six pups. The pups might leave shortly after weaning or stay with the family group for up to a year. Like their hunting behavior, the breeding system for wild dogs is an example of remarkable cooperation. In each pack, only the dominant pair breeds while the other dogs help to rear their offspring. This is done for the good of the pack, since all of the dogs are related. Only the strongest genes are passed on. Breeding takes place in the middle of winter in the Okavango Delta, and this is the only time that dogs become sedentary. The gestation period lasts approximately 10 weeks, and the dominant female whelps in a den. For the first two weeks, the female suckles the litter, spending long periods underground with the pups. After those two weeks, the pups make their first unsteady foray outside, and begin to feed on meat regurgitated for them by all of the pack members. Within six weeks or so, the pups feed on their own with the rest of the pack. In a battle between these 2 dogs, who will win? Now, while this is not a bad match-up, the wild dog does seem to have all the advantages. It is slightly bigger, it is heavier, and it is faster. In addition to this, African wild dogs also live in an environment with much more competition. Dingos compete against Quoll, Red fox and Feral cats. Wild dogs on the other hand, compete with Lions, Hyenas and Leopards to name just a few. And lastly, they also hunt bigger, more dangerous prey. Yes, I do understand that Red kangaroos are quite dangerous. But are they as dangerous as African buffalo or Common eland? Most definitely not. So, in summation, the African wild dog, in my opinion, has the physical and mental advantage in this fight and should stand victorious. They are some of the most successful hunters in Africa. They run in large packs and have been seen attacking in a coordinated effort. They use vocal signals to tell each other to break off to attack from several angles

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