Bush Dog

 

 

Speothos venaticus

Bush Dog Head

The South American Bush Dog is adapted to a semi-aquatic life amongst the forest. It is a stoutly built, small dog with has short legs, a short, bushy tail, a rounded muzzle and ears, and webbed feet. The Bush Dog is reddish in color on the head and neck areas trending toward dark brown on the back and tail. The underside is dark in colour and there is occasionally a lighter throat patch Due to the dense vegetation in which it lives, the Bush Dog has a wide variety of calls it uses to communicate. There are three recognized subspecies of Bush Dogs. Speothos venaticus venaticus lives in the Amazon River basisn. It is medium-sized and darker in coloration. Speothos venaticus panamensis is located in northwestern South America. It is small in size and lighter in coloration. Speothos venaticus wingei is found in south eastern Brazil. It is lighter in color but closer in size to Speothos venaticus venaticus.

The Bush Dog is unique in having only 38 teeth. Most canine species have 42 teeth. Their dental formula in the upper jaw is 3.1.4.1 and 3.1.2.1 in the lower jaw. The Bush Dog has trenchant heel dentition, that is, a single cusp on the talonid of the lower carnassial tooth is adapted to increase cutting blade length. Bush Dogs also have webbed feet for swimming and the females only have four pairs of teats. The females also come into season every 15 to 44 days, truly remarkable among canines.

Bush Dogs hunt in packs with only one breeding pair. They produce litters from 3 to 10 puppies. Bush Dogs mainly feed upon wild South American rodents. The Bush Dog is endangered.

 

Bush Dog

Bush Dog

Bush Dog Head Shot

 

Bush Dog Skull

 

 

Bush Dog with puppy

 

Bush Dog

Bush Dog and Puppy

 

 

 

Bush Dog Carrying Pup

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Nyctereutes procyonoides

Subspecies of the Gray Wolf

Lifespan 4-12 years

80-120 lbs

coloration ranges from tawny grey and tan to black and pure white

4-6 puppies

Alaska Interior and Yukon

Viable population