The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), also known as the Cape hunting dog or African hunting dog, is a carnivorous mammal in the Canidae family, the same family as coyotes, domestic dogs and wolves. Unlike other dogs, African wild dogs have only four toes on each foot.
The African wild dog's scientific name, Lycaon pictus, means "painted wolf." And they certainly look like painted dogs, with yellow fur splotched with black and white. Each African wild dog has its own unique coat pattern.
With their long legs, African wild dogs are about 24 inches (60 centimeters) at the shoulder. They have rounded ears that help regulate their temperature and they weigh about 35 to 50 pounds (16 to 23 kilograms).
Where Do African Wild Dogs Live?
Historically, African wild dogs were distributed throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Today, they are virtually extinct in North and West Africa, with the largest populations found in southern Africa and southern East Africa.
What Do African Wild Dogs Eat?
The African wild dogs hunt antelope, such as dik-diks, duikers, impalas, greater kudus, steenboks, Thomson's gazelles and common wildebeests. They may snack on hares and lizards.