These are rather unusual animals that have a number of external similarities with badgers, but refers to dogs because of their characteristic barking. Due to the constant cutting of forests, shrub dogs are in a very vulnerable position. Animals are forced to migrate in search of food.
Shrub dogs have a body with a length of up to 75 centimeters and a mass in the range from 5 to 7 kilograms. The height of individuals reaches about 30 centimeters. The physique of dogs is quite dense, and the limbs are short. The head is large with a rounded muzzle, on which there are small ears and large eyes. The tail is covered with long hair. The wool itself is hard and bristly, browncolored.
There are shrub dogs of yellowish and chestnut shade. Puppies have a darker six than adult individuals. In the throat area, some species have a small light spot. About 40 teeth with sharp fangs are in the mouth. The jaws themselves are very powerful, allowing you to easily cope with the victim. Fingers with membranes are on the tips of the paws.
The territory of the distribution of shrub dogs extends from the north of South America from Pan to Paraguay. In many regions, the population of shrub dogs is extremely small. As a habitat, animals prefer savannahs, forests with marshy regions and selvia. The life of these animals is associated with water, so their habitat should have territories with rivers and lakes. Especially for this, they have swimming membranes on the paws.
To date, only 3 types of shrub dogs are distinguished. The nominative subspecies is in Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador. View s.v. Wingei is located in the southeastern Brazil, and S.v. Panamensis is located in Panama. For the first time, these animals were described only in 1842. For a long time they were considered extinct.
Shrub dogs Absolute predators. Most of their diet consists of various birds, lizards and small rodents. If dogs organize flocks, then they can hunt large game. Their victims are ostriches, capybras and large fish. They tear their victim to pieces, and then chew thoroughly.
The prey hunting is accompanied by a clearly developed strategy, when one part of the animals drives the victim to the water, and the second group awaits.
The life expectancy of a shrub dog in captivity reaches about 10 years. In nature, the exact duration is unknown, but they suggest that they live much less. In nature, shrub dogs are subject to various infectious diseases, including parasitic insects on their body. Shrub dogs also have real enemies: ocelots, kuguars and jaguars.
The estrus of females occurs twice a year. As a rule, puppies are born in October. Males who are next to females in a pack recognize by a characteristic smell that the female is ready for fertilization. In each formed flock of shrub dogs, one female is distinguished, which dominates other types of female. Incubation is about 70 days. One brood can be taken by both 1 and 6 puppies. Mother is near the offspring for 8 weeks and feeds them with milk for about 6 months. At the age of 4 months, puppies begin to eat hard food. The male is busy looking for prey for himself and females. The formed couple is kept together until one and a half years old.
Some cubs live with their parents for quite some time. Saundice shrub dogs become only at the age of 1 year.
For representatives of this species, it is tending to organize family flocks that head the dominant couples. In just one group, there are up to 12 individuals. The activity of shrub dogs falls on at night, and they spend the day in their shelters. Their shelters can be holes of abandoned animals, rocky crevices and rotten stumps. These animals have a great adapted to existence in dense thickets of vegetation: they are shortlegged and squat, thanks to this they perfectly make their way through thick thickets.
Hunting can be carried out collectively and individually. Thanks to their swimmers skills, they easily cope with large victims. Territorial behavior is characteristic. They mark the selected territory of urine.
Shrub dogs do not differ in vocal skills. They make a sound that looks like barking, but higher. With the help of these sounds, they are associated with other species of animals in the forest.
Population and status of the species
With a careful examination of shrub dogs, in their appearance you can find the similarities of so many animals. This amazing creature is listed in the Red Book. The disappearance of the species is due to natural causes and human intervention in their habitat. Hunting for shrub dogs is strictly prohibited, with the exception of cases with rabies.
At the moment, there are only 10 thousand individuals. The indigenous Americans got off to tame shrub dogs, which then become their pet.