The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is a South American canid that basically looks like a gigantic fox. And I do mean fucking gigantic. Like, this beastie is five and a half feet long tip-to-tip and four feet tall. It’s mostly leg, so it only weighs about seventy-five pounds. It’s also not a close relative of the fox; it’s basically its own sort of canid without any really close relatives still in existence. I mean, its closest relative is the bush dog, and you can get about how close that is.
It’s called the maned wolf because it looks like a big fuck-off dog and it has a big, shaggy black mane that it can make stand on end if it’s feeling threatened or in a territory dispute. It is not called a maned wolf because it travels in packs or eats mostly meat, which led to early zookeepers fucking everything up like whoa. I mean, seriously, monogamous, mated pairs will team up and have joint territory that they hunt in and defend from incursion, in which they do not hang out together. Not exactly the sort of animal that’s happy all penned in with a group. Maned wolves mark their territory with urine that contains pyrazine, which humans perceive as smelling like pot. Between that, a meat-heavy diet giving them bladder stones, and their penchant for being susceptible to diseases and parasites carried by domestic dogs, these guys have probably been the bane of zookeepers’ existences for a while.
Left to their own devices, somewhere between a third and half of the wolf’s diet is plant-based, and they’re really, really fond of a fruit called the wolf apple (actually a relative of the tomato and eggplant), which is called that because the maned wolf is really fond of it. (Presumably it’s not fond of it because somebody called it that and thus created a recursive loop, but I guess it’s theoretically possible.)
Weirdly, in spite of the fact that wolf apples’ availability varies wildly depending on the season, the maned wolves’ consumption of it doesn’t appear to fluctuate that much based on fecal sampling, which is currently puzzling the researchers tasked with pawing through the animals’ scat something awful. I guess it’s better than spending your day analyzing a wild animal’s feces and finding that it was all for naught, though? (I’m sure it would still beat running around under arboreal monkeys with catch-cups.) Science, guys: not always the most dignified of careers.
They’ve kind of got a weirdly complicated symbiotic relationship with the wolf apple going, though, because local leafcutter ants are in the business of fungus farming, and they’re partial to using the wolves’ dung as fertilizer. This means that the seeds get picked out and tossed into the ants’ rubbish piles, which they are really, really aggressive about composting, and which aren’t that far away from their honking ginormous, tunneled-up nests. This translates into tilled, composted seed-beds once the wolf apple seeds germinate.
The monogamous wolf-pairs pairs tend to have two babies per year, which they’ll support pretty much until the next set of pups is born, after which they’re expected to sally forth and set up their own territories, not stick around and help with their siblings.
Oh, god, everybody run, it’s babies.
Trying to do some research about the economy of Nova Scotia and ended up on a page about Economy, Nova Scotia. In case you are wondering, their economy is based on fishing and lumber. Just like the rest of Nova Scotia.
I got through half the page before I realized my mistake. I’m tired so this is reaaaaalllllyyyyy funny! I keep giggling. I’m gonna go eat jalapeno hush puppies now.
my intro to information sciences prof showed us this video Friday morning and I’m still laughing three days later
i want to go study in a library now
This is… this is beautiful. *cries*
The Male Birth Control You’ve Never Heard Of (by DNews)