Species: C. brachyurus
Common Names: Maned Wolf, Crin Wolf, Aguará Guazú (“Large Fox” in Guarani language), Kalak (Toba Qom language), Lobo Colorado, Lobo-guará, Borochi
Maned Wolves are mostly active at twilight, in the mornings and early night time. Maned Wolves are mostly solitary animals, unlike most canids which form packs.
Maned Wolves are omnivores, which means they eat both animals and plants. They eat small mammals, birds, and fish, but over half of their diet (as much as 64%) is vegetable based, including fruit and sugarcane. A particular favorite is Solanum lycocarpum, which is known as “fruta do lobo” or “wolf’s fruit”, due to the Maned Wolf’s preference for it.
Mating season lasts from November to April, and gestation lasts about two months. The litter is usually 2 to 6 pups. They are born with black fur, and will be dependent on their parents until they reach one year of age.
The Maned Wolf has reddish fur, like a fox. It has extremely long legs to help it maneuver in its grassland home, and due to these long limbs it is the tallest wild member of the dog family. It can reach a height of 35 inches and a full body length of 57 inches including its tail.
Maned Wolves get their name from the long black mane of fur that runs down the neck of the animal. The Maned Wolf uses this mane to appear larger when threatened by another animal.
Despite its name, the Maned Wolf is not actually a wolf, and despite its reddish coloring, it is also not a fox. While it is in the same family, it is not closely related to any other canine species. Its closest living relative is the Bush Dog, which ironically has some of the shortest legs of any canine species.
The Maned Wolf was first described scientifically by Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger in 1815. It has historically been placed in both the genus Canis (wolves) and Vulpes (foxes), and it wasn’t until 1839 that it was placed in its own genus, Chrysocyon, which means “Golden Dog”.