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African Wild Dog in the Wild

African Wild Dog in the Wild
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-05
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 400mm 2.8 IS
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-06-25 7:41
Viewed: 5766
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this photograph in Madikwe Game Reserve on my recent trip to South Africa. This was before they started to hunt, nonetheless, they were highly mobile, making photography difficult.

The African Wild Dog has a pelage with an irregular pattern of black, yellow, and white, distinctive for each individual. The scientific name Lycaon pictus is derived from the Greek for "painted wolf". It is the only canid species to lack dewclaws on the forelimbs.

Adults typically weigh 17-36 kilograms (37-79 pounds) A tall, lean animal, it stands about 30 inches (75 cm) at the shoulder, with a head and body length averaging about 40 inches (100cm) and a tail of 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm). Animals in southern Africa are generally larger than those in the eastern or western Africa.

A study established that the African Wild dog had a Bite Force Quotient of 142, the highest of any extant carnivorous mammal. The BFQ is essentially the strength of bite as measured against the animal's mass.

The African Wild Dog reproduces at any time of year, although mating peaks between March and June during the second half of the rainy season. Litters can contain 2-19 pups, though 10 is the most usual number. The time between births is usually 12-14 months, though it can also be as short as 6 months if all of the previous young die. The typical gestation period is approximately 70 days. Pups are usually born in an abandoned den dug by other animals such as those of the Aardvark. Weaning takes place at about 10 weeks. After 3 months, the den is abandoned and the pups begin to run with the pack. At the age of 8-11 months they can kill small prey, but they are not proficient until about 12-14 months, at which time they can fend for themselves. Pups reach sexual maturity at the age of 12-18 months.

Females will disperse from their birth pack at 14-30 months of age and join other packs that lack sexually mature females. Males typically do not leave the pack they were born to. This is the opposite situation to that in most other social mammals, where a group of related females forms the core of the pack or similar group. In the African Wild Dog, the females compete for access to males that will help to rear their offspring. In a typical pack, males outnumber females by a factor of two to one, and only the dominant female is usually able to rear pups. This unusual situation may have evolved to ensure that packs do not over-extend themselves by attempting to rear too many litters at the same time. The species is also unusual in that other members of the pack including males may be left to guard the pups whilst the mother joins the hunting group, the requirement to leave adults behind to guard the pups may decrease hunting efficiency in smaller packs.

A captive breeding and translocation program at Mkomazi Game Reserve, the first of its kind in East Africa, was founded in 1995 to provide dogs for a multinational effort to stabilize their numbers and to reintroduce the species to its traditional homeland. The dogs are allocated to four breeding compounds to maximize genetic diversity. An extensive veterinary program has been set up to improve their immunity to disease.

lovenature, eqshannon, Argus, agulec, Royaldevon, jaycee, eng55, Arjun, Adanac, boreocypriensis, rousettus, Dis. Ac., nglen, goldyrs, NinaM, CeltickRanger, uleko, PaulH has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi James
Your notes are very interesting, especially about the dewclaw. His head looks very similar to a German Shepherd. A nice pose as he gazes off into the distance. Well done.
TFS Janice

We always seem to be transplanting...do Noah start it all?:-) Very interesting James. Quite the bite as you say...and it looks like it can catch up quickly in a race. I wonder if they are aggressive? Or do they have any disease problems such as some mammals here in the US which can be known to carry rabies? You are the man of the world...wow!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-06-25 8:14]

Hello James,
Great capture of an African Wild Dog in a great pose that suits the POV to show us the features. Fine lighting, colours, BG and sharpness.
Thanks for sharing this fine image,

Very interesting notes, James.
I am not surprised that this is called the painted wolf! That is an excellent description.
Superb details of the animal's shape and paterned coat. That white tail must make an excellent signal.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-06-25 9:17]

Hi James,

Quite a beautiful animal is this African Wild Dog. The coat, which you show in wonderful colors and details, is so intricate. I love the bushy white tail. Wonder how long it stays so white. Very informative notes as always.


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  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-06-25 9:46]

Hi James,
Beautiful capture,like 3D.Colors,contrast,details and composition are excellent.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2008-06-25 10:30]

hello sir,
lovely picture.beautiful compo,i liked the details..
i had seen this ferocious dog with pack in "Mike and Mark" show..

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-06-25 10:35]

Hello James,
What an amazing coat this animal has with its unique pattern. Superbly captured as always my friend. Thank you James.

hello James
I came back newly and I see this great capture of African Wild Dog from your objective. Great focus and details. colors, POV very nice. Thanks for sharing, best wishes

Hi My dear friend James,
Great capture of an African Wild Dog in wild with ecxelent POV, great DOF and Lovely details. I loved the way of looking. Splendid! TFS my friend.


Hello james,

Good note's, great capture of the Wild dog.
Great pose and very good pov.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-06-25 12:41]

Hi James. As you say in your interesting notes a lean animal. but no fat just built for its power. You have captured good detail in the unusual coat. with a long white tail. I like the pose with the dog on the look out. well done TFs.

A very well timed shot,James.great pose!

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-06-25 19:40]

Excellent shot again James, great composition and technically excellent, well done, thanks!


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-06-25 22:33]

Hello James

Just marking the post for now


  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-06-26 5:21]

Hello James, Very interesting notes. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-06-26 9:18]

I don't know why but this animal scares me a lot! Yet, the way you took the picture, it is beautiful, with the most beautiful coat one could imagine for such dogs. The colours are sharp and cristal clear even with the dim light. It's funny because I now recognize at first glance your pictures, your signature is in each one. I couldn't describe it, I just know it's yours by the composition. Thank you James,


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-06-26 10:29]

Hello James,
Very beautiful photo of this Wild Dog. On all my visits in Africa (more then 10 times) I've never seen them. Great sharpness and colours.

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  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-06-26 13:07]

It's so rare to see a non-blurry image of an African Wild Dog, yet here we have one :-)
This is technically perfect!
Very good quality and superbly composed.

Well done,

hello James

excellent shot of this African Wild Dog, with fine POV, DOF and vertical framing,
i love that in the framing you leaved a good space where the wild dog i looking,
great contrast, sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-07-01 13:23]

Hello James,
Excellent view of this interesting African Wild Dog, it looks almost like a mixture of a Hyena and a Dog! Amazing colours and patterns very sharply shown here against the fine natural background. Well done!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-07-02 6:09]

Missed this one!
Great shot James, an excellent DOF and a great pose caught too, well done.

Splendid shot of a majectic healthy specimen.
Shooting for behind enhances the beauty of its colors.

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