- Short-eared Dog
name = Short-eared DogMSW3 Wozencraft | id = 14000693]
status = DD
status_system = iucn2.3
trend = unknown
status_ref = IUCN2006|assessors=Sillero-Zubiri & Hoffmann|year=2004|id=6924|title=Atelocynus microtis|downloaded=09 May 2006 Database entry includes justification for why this species is listed as data deficient.]
phylum = Chordata
genus = "Atelocynus"
species = "A. microtis"
binomial = "Atelocynus microtis"
binomial_authority = (Sclater, 1883)
The Short-eared Dog ("Atelocynus microtis"), also known as the Short-eared Fox or the Short-eared Zorro, is a
canid speciesendemic to the Amazonian basin. This is the only species assigned to the genus "Atelocynus".
It has many names in the indigenoous langues where it is endemic, such as: "cachorro-do-mato-de-orelha-curta" in "Portuguese", "El zorro de oreja corta" in "Spanish", "nomensarixi" in "Chiquitano" people, and "uálaca" in "Yucana".
Evolution and systematics
The Short-eared Dog's evolution is similar to other
canids and placental mammals of South America. During creation of Isthmus of Panamain the latter part the Tertiary(about 2.5 million years ago in the Pliocene), dogs migrated from North America to the southern continent. The Short-eared Dog's ancestors adapted to life in tropical rainforests, developing the requisite morphological and anatomical features. The latest systematicsclassifies it as a species in the Caninitribe, and its closest modern relative is probably the Crab-eating Fox("Cerdocyon thous ").Fact|date=April 2008 It has 74 (2 x 36 autosomes + one pair of sex chromosomes) chromosomes. [http://www.canids.org/species/Short-eared_dog.pdf]
Two subspecies of this canid are recognized:
*"Atelocynus microtis microtis"
*"Atelocynus microtis sclateri"
Occurrence and environment
The Short-eared Dog can be found in the
Amazon rainforestregion of South America(in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuadorand possible Venezuela). It lives in various parts of the rainforest environment, preferring areas with little human disturbance. It lives in both lowland forestsknow as "Selva Amazónica" and terra firme forest, as well as in swamp forest, stands of bamboo, and partly Cloud forest.Fact|date=April 2008
The Short-eared Dog has short and slender limbs with short and rounded ears. The Short-eared Dog has a distinctive fox-like muzzle and bushy tail. It ranges from dark to reddish-grey, but can also be nearly navy blue, coffee brown, dark grey or chestnut-grey, and the coat is short, with thick and bristly fur.Fact|date=April 2008 Its
paws are partly webbed, owing to its partly aquatic habitat. [ [http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Atelocynus_microtis.html ADW: Atelocynus microtis: Information ] ]
It moves with feline lightness unparalleled among the other canids. It has a somewhat narrow chest, with dark colour variation on thorax merging to brighter, more reddish tones on the abdominal side of the body. This species possesses a large elongated head and long
canine teeth, protruding even when its muzzleis closed. Its back often has a dark streak, while a brighter stain is on its tail. Like all canids, it has 42 teeth.
Typical height at the shoulder is 25-30 cm. Its head nad body length is about 100 cm, with a tail of about 30-35 cm. It weighs about 9-10 kg.
This wild dog is mainly a
carnivore, with fish, insects, and small mammals making up the majority of its diet. An investigation led in Cocha Cashu Biological Stationin Peruinto the proportions of different kinds of food in this animal's diet produced the following results: fish 28%, insects 17%, small mammals 13%, various fruits 10%, crabs 10%, frogs 4%, reptiles 3%, birds 10%. [ [http://www.lioncrusher.com/animal.asp?animal=32 Lioncrusher's Domain - Small Eared Zorro (Atelocynus microtis) facts and pictures ] ]
Reproduction and behaviour
This species has some unique behaviours not typical to other canids.
Females of this species are about almost 1/3 larger than males. The excited male sprays a musk produced by the tail glands. It prefers a solitary lifestyle, in forest areas. It avoids humans in the natural environment. Agitated males will raise the hairs on its back. [http://www.duke.edu/~manu/Projects/atelocynus.htm ebcc ] ]
Lifespan and gestation period are unknown, although it is assumed that
sexual maturityis reached at about one year of age.
Threats, survival and ecological concerns
The Short-eared Dog competes for food with the
Jaguar, the Cougar, the Ocelot, the Margayand the Giant Otter, and compete for territory with the Bush Dog. Feral dogs pose a prominent threat to the population of the Short-eared Dog, as they proliferate the spread of diseases such as canine distemperand rabiesto the wild population. Humans also contribute to the extermination of the Short-eared Dog via aggrandizement of the species' natural habitat and the destruction of tropical rainforests. Scientists still have little knowledge on its ecology.
tatus of Conservation
The Short-eared Dog is currently considered
data deficientby IUCN.
*"Atelocynus microtis microtis", Sclater, 1882.
*"Atelocynus microtis sclateri",
J. A. Allen, 1905
*M.R.P Leite Pitman and R.S.R. Williams. Short-eared dog;"Atelocynus microtis" (Sclater, 1883).C-S. Zubiri, M. Hoffmann and D. W. Macdonald. "Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs - 2004 Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan". IUCN Publications Services Unit, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, United Kingdom, 2004.
*Alderton, David. "Foxes, Wolves and Wild Dogs of the World". Blandford Press: United Kingdom, 1998.
*Nowak, Ronald. "Walker's Carnivores of the World". The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, 2005.
* [http://www.canids.org/species/Atelocynus_microtus.htm IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group: Small Eared Zorro]
* [http://www.procarnivoros.org.br/animais_cac_curta.htm Pro-carnivoros]
* [http://www.wildcru.org/aboutus/news/shorteareddog.htm Ecology and conservation of the short-eared dog by WildCru]
* [http://web.mac.com/renata_leite/iWeb/Atelocynus_microtis Studies with a tame short-eared dog by Maria Renata Leite]
* [http://web.mac.com/renata_leite/Atelocynus_microtis/Home.html Atelocynus microtis Research and Conservation by M. R. Pitman Leite]
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