Hunting dogs hide their wolfish emotions
Cuon alpinus photo © Johan Spaedtke
Canis lupus photo © Kristi Herbert
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
Lycaon pictus photo © Dmitrij Rodionov