Maned Wolf: Definitely a Werewolf

The Maned Wolf is a very unique animal found in South America. It looks as if a person actually turned into a werewolf! It resembles a fox with its reddish hair, pointy ears, and black stripe on its neck. But, it also resembles a wolf with its standing at 3 feet tall and a weight of 55 pounds with long legs. What if I told you that this animal wasn’t related to either one! The Maned Wolf or C. brachyurus is a mammal that is the only species in the genus Chrysocyon.

The Maned wolf is still considered a Canine and is the largest in South America. They can typically be found in the grasslands and forests of Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Although they can be found in numerous countries they are not thriving well. Their population has been on a steady decline due to hunting and their habitats being destroyed. They are near threatened animals and many countries like Peru and Brazil have no hunting laws.

The Maned Wolf does not live for very long, with the median age being 6.5 years. This is also another reason it is easy for their populations to decline. Individuals do not have as much time as other mammals to reproduce and double their population. You may wonder why their lifespan is so low? This is not due to hunting or predators. In fact, they face very few threats from predators. The only major predators they face are the large cats of South America (Jaguars and sometimes Pumas). The reason for their lifespan is purely due to their biology and genetics.

The reason for the Maned wolf’s long legs is to help them hunt. Living in environments where the grass is tall and not controlled, it can be hard to see far distances. Thus, their long legs give them the ability to see from above the grass and hunt their prey. Their prey includes things like small animals (rabbits), insects, and rodents.

Opossum: Are They Actually Mean?

The Opossum is not what comes to mind when you think of friendly and goodhearted animals. These organisms are known for carrying diseases such as tuberculosis, leptospirosis, tularemia, spotted fever, and many more. However, Opossums are not as dangerous as some might think. When seeing a wild Opossum they will typically hiss with their mouth wide open. Although this might be scary the Opossum is not dangerous and this tactic is nearly a bluff, this does not mean you should go catching one, however. If the hissing does not work they will typically play dead and sometimes will continue to do this even if you touch them!

The Opossum is a marsupial which means their newborns develop externally from the body in a pouch. Things such as squirrels and kangaroos are marsupials. The Opossum is found commonly in the western hemisphere and can typically be seen in trees. The lifespan of an Opossum is very short ranging from 1-2 years due to a large number of predators such as dogs, cats, and humans.