Maned Wolf

Photo Credit: Sean Crane Photography

Photo Credit: Sean Crane Photography

The Maned Wolf is very rare in the wild, found throughout central South America, where it frequents tall grasslands such as the Brazilian Savanna. The Maned Wolf is actually not a wolf at all, but the sole member of the genus Chrysocyon. Because it is so unlike other canines, many scientists believe that the Maned Wolf is the last surviving large South American canid after a late Pleistocene extinction.

This canine, the largest in South America, stands up to 2.5 feet at the shoulders. The long, stilt-like legs are believed to be an adaptation which helps them see over the tall grasses of their preferred habitat.

The “mane” in Maned Wolf comes from a strip of long, dark fur that runs from the back of the wolf’s head to end between the shoulders. This mane is raised if the animal is threatened or aggressive, much as the domestic dog will raise its hackles.

The Maned Wolf is omnivorous, eating small mammals and invertebrates, as well as plant matter. This animal frequently dines on the lobeira fruit, lobiera meaning “wolf’s plant” in Portuguese. This fruit can compose a significant portion of the wolf’s diet, and is believed to help protect them from the giant kidney worm.

The Maned Wolf is primarily nocturnal, hunting and foraging during the night, with peaks of activity in the dawn and dusk. Unlike many other canines, the Maned Wolf is primarily solitary. A single, monogamous mated pair will share a territory of 15 to 30 square miles, but only associate with one another during the breeding season.

The Maned Wolf has a unique vocalization called a “roar-bark,” which does indeed sound like something between a roar and a bark. This deep, guttural call helps the Maned Wolf communicate over long distances, and can be heard in this video.


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