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The painted wolf

The painted wolf
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-05-20
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Digital ISO 100, Hoya skylight (1B)
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): some blood, but it's nature, Canidae, BEST OF: Wild Dogs, Dholes, & False foxes 1, The predator with the Prey [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-05-21 17:58
Viewed: 6450
Favorites: 4 [view]
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Wild Dog
Lycaon pictus

Also known as: EN: African wild dog, Cape hunting dog. FR: Lycaon, Le cynhyène, Loup-peint. GER: Hyänenhund. NED: Wildehund.

The African wild dog is one of the world’s most social and distinctive canids. The short, wiry coat is coloured in blotches of yellow, grey, black and white that give rise to the scientific name of Lycaon pictus or ‘painted wolf-like animal’ in Greek. The hair is short on the limbs and body and longer on the neck. Each dog has a unique colouration pattern, and this is used by researchers to identify individuals. The body is thin and muscular, the tail bushy with a white tip and the legs are long. Males are slightly larger than females. Unlike the other canid species there are only four, rather than five, toes on the front feet. These dogs have large rounded ears, which probably help with heat loss as well as keeping track of pack members by picking up long distance vocal signals.

At one time the distribution of Lycaon pictus was throughout the non-forested and non-desert areas of Africa. Their current distribution is more fragmented. African hunting dogs are now found in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, parts of Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and the Transvaal province in SA. Some breeding programs do exists throughout the country.

Each African hunting dog pack has a dominant breeding pair. This pair can be identified by their increased tendency to urine mark. They are normally the only pair of pack members to mate and they tend to remain monogamous for life. Their life expectancy is approximately ten years. Generally the dominant pair prevents subordinates from breeding. Breeding suppression between females may often result in aggressive interactions. Occasionally a subordinate female is allowed to mate and rear young.

These animals are cooperative hunters; they hunt in packs led by the alpha male. African hunting dogs are primarily diurnal, hunting in the morning and early evening. They will hunt at night if there is a bright moon. L. pictus uses sight, not smell to find prey. Once they locate prey they begin to chase it. The chase can last for several kilometres and reach speeds up to 55 km/hour. The dogs chase the prey until it tires, and at times they will disembowel the prey while it is still running. Once the prey tires they tear it to pieces. African hunting dogs tolerate scavengers at their kills, except for spotted hyenas. They drive off hyenas, sometimes injuring or killing them.

It is an endangered species with worldwide population estimates of 3000 animals. (Red List Category & Criteria: EN C2a(i)Year Assessed: 2004)

It’s all about the moment… and capturing the emotion of the scene playing off in front of the photographer. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

red45, puffy, Fisher, slrnovice2, liquidsunshine, scottevers7, marhowie, Esox, sAner, TAZ, coasties, naki, christophe, Callie, PDP, dew77, Comandante, rlortie, eev, Riz, bedford67, Dave has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To slrnovice2: Wonderfull critique...gerhardt 2 05-22 04:35
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-05-21 18:03]

Yes Gerhard, this is exceptional image. Again you captured heart and soul of real Africa! And you did it excellent. All is great in your photo but for me most important is intense red colour of blood. I can't explain it in rational way. Superb post!

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-05-21 18:07]

What a shot. Right on, Gerhard.
Excelent tones, sharp, clean, crisp detailed shot. Awesome !!!!!
It's in my faves, friend.


  • Great 
  • puffy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 289 W: 0 N: 339] (1351)
  • [2005-05-21 18:08]

Excellent captured Gerhard, cought in action. I agree with Greg, you captured the heart and sould of Real Africa. Great DOF and sharpness. Very well done, I hope you are not too close to it thou....

Gerhard, this is a wonderful action shot. I hate images of animals tearing other animals apart (I can't watch natural history programmes with lions and cheetahs killing other animals in them!) but that is a very personal limitation of mine and nothing to do with your image. I think I would use a little gaussian blur on the BG and it would have been great to have a highlight in the dog's eye but those are very minor nits. Your composition, timing, exposure and colour are all fantastic. Your camera settings are just about perfect for this situation I would think and I love the quality of light in this shot. I like the idea of capturing the spirit of your country in a photograph of its wildlife. I wonder what everyone would choose for their own countries. Superb idea and superb capture Gerhard, TFS :)

Cracking capture Gerhard,
This is the real deal. Fantastic detail, so very sharp and clear.
Perfect DOF and great warm colours.
Thanks for posting

Superb action shot on this feeding Wild Dog. Color and detail are perfect. This is a classic...Nice Work! Great Notes to help with my education..Thanks

Great action, Gerhard.
Very good sharpness, well composed and nice colours.
And a great and informative note as usual.
Excellent work to show the heart and soul of Africa.

Excellent wildlife image,clear detail.TFS!

Very good image Gerhardt, good colours, set off by the bright red of carcass, good pose and good composition.

Well worth a big smiley!

  • Great 
  • Esox Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 20 N: 344] (972)
  • [2005-05-22 2:33]

Superb composition, sharp details, bla, bla, bla...
As usual, all the technical stuff is perfect.
What I prefer in this shot isn't what we see, but what we feel looking at it.
You're definitively a real artist.
Thnaks for your works.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-05-22 3:41]

Hee mijn vriend! :) Wooooooow, what a scene! And you're complaining about not being able to shoot flying herons? Man!! This is way better! Light is so warm and the colors are perfect because of that. Details are razorsharp, composition is perfect and the POV & DOF are just excellent. A great capture Gerhard. Well done!


  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-05-22 4:02]

Belle et intéressante composition photographique bien réalisée pour ce superbe Lycaon. Jolies couleurs et bonne netteté.
Interesting and very well done !

It is the 'other' side of nature that we don't see too often here on TN. I have to agree with Hollie re the 'I hate images of animals tearing other animals apart', but it is survival of the fittest and the order of the food chain for these wild beasts. Magnificent capture Gerhard, showing us the reality of the wild. Thank you!

Real wild life a true TN image, I wish we could see more of this sort, the action is superbly caught and as alway spot on informative notes. TFS

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-05-22 6:22]

A truly wonderful capture Gerhard.
Fabulous colours and detail,perfect exposure and DOF.
A little catchlight in the eye would have been a bonus too but looking closely I can see it is just about closed.He's certainly enjoying his meal.
Excellent work,very well done indeed.

Impressive shot Gerhard. Excellent POV on the action with great impact on the viewer (that would be me!). Very good sharpness, details and colors..That's a nice shade of blood red I might add!! ;-)) Very well done my friend!

  • Great 
  • naki Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 382 W: 27 N: 5] (40)
  • [2005-05-22 8:47]

Hi Gerhard, while I'm running after the bugs you're shooting these magnificent moments...just envy.
Very informative note.
Thanks for sharing.

quite simply impressive, very great shot Gerhard
In a friendly way Christophe

  • Great 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2005-05-22 13:47]

Soos Richard du Toit dit noem - Catching the moment - the most ellusive moment in wildlife photography - I have been trying this for many years, and am still trying - I must say you have improved tremendously in this year, with quite a couple of stunners in this type of photography. Very nice, well done my Friend - 10/10!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-05-22 15:49]

This is a stunning capture. Very well done Gerhard. It's a great composition and what a moment. Excellent.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-05-23 2:07]

Hello Gerhard!
Wonderful wildife photo.Details,framing and composition are perfect.TFS...:-)

Superb scane Gerhard!
Details,lighting and composition are excellent.Very well done!Thanks for sharing.

Great capture Gerhard. Excellent DOF and details. This is life in action. I do enjoy it a lot.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-05-25 19:04]

Gerhard, a dramatic and great shot.

Excellent lighting, pov and sharpness.

A great moment. After all, that's how life goes on.

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-06-02 2:54]

excelent "daily life" picture! great details and colours, dof.

Hello Gerhard,

This wild dog was photographed of hand of Master! The colors are fantastic as the other points besides! TFS, Cordially.
Composition: ****
Contraste(Sharpness): ****
Couleurs(Color): ****
PDC(DOF): ****
PDV(POV): ****
Note: ***

Ce lycaon a été photographié de main de maître! Les couleurs sont fantastiques comme le reste d'ailleurs! Merci pour le partage, cordialement,

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2005-11-07 0:43]

Quite a poignant and emotional shot!
Outstanding capture of the moment! As you say, "It's all about the moment..."
Wonderful that you shared this one with all of us.
Many thanks for "The painted wolf" most aptly titled!


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