Hunting dogs hide their wolfish emotions



Cuon alpinus photo © Johan Spaedtke

Canis lupus photo © Kristi Herbert
355647911 91633e1d84 b


The wolf, Asian hunting dog and African hunting dog all rely on hunting large herbivores gregariously in different parts of Eurasia and Africa. Given the parallels among these three species of canids, their facial expressions in antagonism are surprisingly disparate. The wolf snarls with extreme retraction of the upper lip, whereas the Asian and African hunting dogs have relatively impassive faces and have never been photographed fang-baring in anger or fear. A possible reason for these differences is that the two species of hunting dogs are so extremely specialised for cooperation between group members that they rely on solidarity with no need for the individual self-assertion that remains in the wolf.  
Robin and the Honey Badger, 8 January 2017


Canis lupus
Cuon alpinus
Lycaon pictus
Lycaon pictus & Canis familiaris
Lycaon pictus & Canis familiaris
Lycaon pictus & Panthera leo

Lycaon pictus photo © Dmitrij Rodionov