African Wild Dog Trivia

African Wild Dog

Do you think you know the African wild dog? Test your knowledge of African wild dog FaunaFacts with this trivia quiz!

Click on an answer choice to receive instant feedback. Red answers are incorrect, but allow you to continue guessing. Green answers are correct and will provide additional explanatory information. Sometimes more than one answer is correct!

Learn More About the African Wild Dog | Play on Quizizz


African wild dogs are endemic to Africa.
True
African wild dogs are endemic to the continent of Africa. At one time the distribution of the African wild dog was throughout the non-forested and non-desert areas of Africa. Their current distribution is more fragmented. African hunting dogs are now found in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, parts of Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and the Transvaal.
False

What is the African wild dog’s status?
Endangered
African wild dogs are considered an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species because they have disappeared from much of their former range. They are also listed as “Endangered” by the United States Endangered Species Act.
Critically Endangered
Vulnerable
Near Threatened

African wild dogs are solitary animals.
False
African wild dogs are social animals that form packs of up to 40 members.
True

Each African wild dog has a uniquely patterned coat, different from any other dog.
True
Each African wild dog has a uniquely patterned coat, different from any other dog, much like the stripes of zebras, the spots of a giraffe, or the fingerprints of a human.
False

Each African wild dog pack has an alpha male and alpha female dominant pair.
True
African wild dogs have unique social concerns and structures within their packs. Each pack has an alpha male and alpha female, which are the dominant pair.
False

What is the African wild dog’s diet?
Carnivore
African wild dogs are generalist carnivorous predators.
Herbivore
Omnivore

How many African wild dog subspecies are generally recognized?
5
As of 2005, five subspecies of African wild dogs are generally recognized. Nevertheless, although the species is genetically diverse, these subspecific designations are not universally accepted.
2
8
10

What is the African wild dog’s rhythm?
Diurnal
Because African wild dogs use their sight, rather than smell, to find prey, they are primarily diurnal and crepuscular, hunting in the morning and early evening.
Nocturnal
Cathemeral
Unknown

What habitats do African wild dogs inhabit?
Forest
African wild dogs occupy a range of habitats including forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, and even desert.
Savanna
African wild dogs occupy a range of habitats including forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, and even desert.
Desert
African wild dogs occupy a range of habitats including forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, and even desert.
Grassland
African wild dogs occupy a range of habitats including forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, and even desert.

When are African wild dogs born?
Spring-Summer
African wild dog pups are usually born between March and July.
Summer-Fall
Fall-Winter
Winter-Spring

What is the African wild dog’s greatest natural enemy?
Spotted Hyaena
African wild dogs, especially their young, are preyed on by spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta). As such, the dogs choose habitats with low concentration of hyenas and drive them off, sometimes injuring or killing them. Competition with spotted hyaenas also contribute to keeping African wild dog numbers below the level that their prey base could support.
Nile Crocodile
Black-Backed Jackal
Aardwolf

African wild dog pack members are generally aggressive to each other.
False
A unique feature of African wild dogs is the general lack of aggression between pack members. An exception to this is the occasional fight between a dominant female and a subordinate female over breeding rights.
True

The African wild dog is Africa’s most endangered carnivore.
False
With such low population estimates, the African wild dog is Africa’s second most endangered carnivore after the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis)..
True

How many members make up the average African wild dog pack?
7-15
African wild dogs are gregarious animals that form packs of up to 40 members. Before the recent population decline of African wild dogs, packs of up to 100 animals had been recorded. An average pack size, currently, is 7 to 15 members.
2-6
15-26
27-40

What is the African wild dog’s mating system?
Monogamous
Each African hunting dog pack has a dominant breeding pair. This pair can be identified by their increased tendency to urine mark. They tend to remain monogamous for life.
Polygynandrous
Polygynous
Polyandrous

African wild dogs tend to average more females than males.
False
African wild dog packs tend to average more males than females.
True

Which dog leads an African wild dog hunt?
Alpha Male
African wild dogs are cooperative hunters and hunt in packs led by the pack’s alpha male.
Alpha Female
Beta Male
Beta Female

Conservation strategies have been developed for the African wild dog in all regions of Africa.
True
Conservation strategies have been developed for the African wild dog in all regions of Africa.
False

Which are predators of the African wild dog?
Lion
African wild dogs, especially their young, are preyed on by lions (Panthera leo), spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta), and Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus). As such, the wild dogs choose habitats with low concentration of these predators.
Spotted Hyaena
African wild dogs, especially their young, are preyed on by lions (Panthera leo), spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta), and Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus). As such, the wild dogs choose habitats with low concentration of these predators.
Nile Crocodile
African wild dogs, especially their young, are preyed on by lions (Panthera leo), spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta), and Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus). As such, the wild dogs choose habitats with low concentration of these predators.
Black-Backed Jackal

What is the African wild dog’s scientific name?
Lycaon pictus
The African wild dog’s scientific name, “Lycaon pictus”, reflects the color of its spotted pelage.
Lycalopex culpaeus
Cuon alpinus
Chrysocyon brachyurus

African wild dogs attack humans.
False
African wild dogs don’t attack humans.
True

At times, African wild dogs will disembowel prey while it’s still alive.
True
At times, the dogs will disembowel the prey while it is still running. Once the prey is brought down, the dogs tear it to pieces while it’s still alive, each dog taking as much meat as possible.
False

What is the African wild dog’s Swahili name?
Mbwa Mwilu
In Swahili, the African wild dog is known as “Mbwa mwilu”.
Ucutz Il Chican
Purinina
Maanhaar Jackal

An African wild dog is about the same size as a German shepherd dog.
True
African wild dogs are about the same size as a German shepherd domestic dog(Canis lupus familiaris). Males and females tend to be approximately the same size, but sometimes males are larger. East and West African wild dogs tend to be smaller than those in South Africa. The body length is between 75 and 110 centimeters (29-43 inches), the tail is between 30 and 40 centimeters long (11-16 inches), and they range in weight from 18 to 36 kilograms (39-79 pounds).
False

African wild dogs have smaller teeth than most canines.
False
African wild dogs have around 42 teeth, including premolars, that are much larger than in other canids. These larger teeth allow the dogs to consume large amounts of bone.
True

African wild dogs scavenge the kills of other animals.
False
African wild dogs will never scavenge, no matter how fresh the kill is.
True

Female African wild dogs will suckle pups, even if they aren’t the mother.
True
African wild dog pups nurse from other females in the pack, as well as from their mother.
False

African wild dogs were once found throughout most of Africa, but are now more fragmented.
True
At one time the distribution of the African wild dog was throughout the non-forested and non-desert areas of Africa. Their current distribution is more fragmented. African hunting dogs are now found in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, parts of Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and the Transvaal.
False

African wild dogs are territorial.
False
African wild dogs are not territorial animals.
True

What color is the tip of an African wild dog’s tail?
White
The African wild dog’s uniquely patterned fur appears to be irregularly painted with brown, caramel, red, black, yellow, and white areas. Typically, there is dark fur on the head and a white tip on the end of their bushy tail.
Black
Orange

African wild dogs regurgitate food for each other.
True
African wild dogs cooperate in caring for the young, as well as wounded or sick pack members. When the dogs return from a kill they feed regurgitated food to the young, wounded, and sick, as well as any adult that was not able to go on the hunt.
False

African wild dogs have separate dominance hierarchies for males and females.
True
African wild dogs have unique social concerns and structures within their packs. Each pack has separate dominance hierarchies for males and females.
False

African wild dogs evolved from feral dogs.
False
Despite their name, African wild dogs are not taxonomically wild dogs. Though African wild dogs are a member of the Canidae family, which also includes dogs, coyotes, dingos, jackals, and wolves, they last shared a common ancestor with wolves about 6 million years ago. They are the only species in the genus Lycaon, which is more closely related to wolves than domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). In contrast, domestic dogs derived from the grey wolf (Canis lupus) within the last 30,000 years. In fact, chimpanzees and gorillas are closer to humans than wolves are to African wild dogs.
True

The African wild dog’s name has been detrimental to conservation efforts.
True
Unfortunately, the name “African wild dog” has had several negative connotations that have been detrimental to the endangered species’ image and conservational efforts.
False

What sense does an African wild dog most rely on when hunting prey?
Sight
Because African wild dogs use their sight, rather than smell, to find prey, they are primarily diurnal and crepuscular, hunting in the morning and early evening.
Hearing
Taste
Scent

How fast can an African wild dog run?
55 kph / 34 mph
African wild dog chases can last for several kilometers and reach speeds up to 55 kilometers per hour.
25 kph / 16 mph
35 kph / 22 mph
75 kph / 47 mph

What is the African wild dog’s principal prey?
Impala
In most areas, the African wild dog’s principal prey are impala (Aepyceros melampus), greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), Thomson’s gazelle (Eudorcas thomsonii) and common wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus). Small antelope, such as dik-dik (Madoqua spp.), steenbok (Raphicerus campestris) and duiker (tribe Cephalophini), such as common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), are important in some areas, and warthogs (Phacochoerus spp.) are also taken in some populations. They will give chase of larger species, such as common eland (Tragelaphus oryx), African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), and zebra (genus Equus), but rarely kill such prey unless they are old, sick, or injured. African wild dogs also take very small prey such as hares, lizards, and even eggs, but these make a very small contribution to their diet. For the most part, the African wild dog does not eat plants or insects, except for small amounts of grass. African wild dogs also occasionally kill livestock and important game animals.
Common Duiker
Common Warthog
African Buffalo

How long is an African wild dog’s gestation?
2.5 Months
African wild dog gestation is approximately ten weeks.
5 Months
7.5 Months
10 Months

The African wild dog’s scientific name is derived from which feature?
Patterned Fur
The African wild dog’s scientific name, “Lycaon pictus”, reflects the color of its spotted pelage. “Lycaon” comes from the Greek language for “wolf” and “pictus” is derived from Latin, meaning “painted” or “ornate”.
Rounded Ears
Social Hierarchy
African Distribution

African wild dogs frequently eat cached food.
False
On occasion, some of the food African wild dogs get from larger kills may be cached, though very often they never return to the cached food.
True

What is the African wild dog’s estimated population?
6,000
The African wild dog population is currently estimated at approximately 6,600 adults in 39 subpopulations, of which only 1,400 are mature individuals.
600
60,000
600,000

How many toes does an African wild dog have on its forepaws?
4
African Wild Dogs differ from other members of the Canidae family in that they only have four toes on each paw instead of five, as they lack the dew claws of other canids.
3
5
6

African Wild Dogs show morphological and genetic variation in different parts of their geographic range.
True
African wild dogs show morphological and genetic variation in different parts of their geographic range. These regions are geographical separated by areas of unoccupied range and/or major geographical barriers, and with no expectation of recovering connectivity.
False

What is the average litter size of the African wild dog?
8
African wild dog litter sizes can vary considerably, from 2 to 20 pups, with an average of 8 pups.
2
12
20

African wild dogs are reluctant to venture into water.
True
African wild dogs are very reluctant to venture into water where they easily fall prey to crocodiles, such as the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus). Because of this reluctance, animals the dogs prey on can escape by fleeing to bodies of water.
False

Male African wild dogs usually leave their natal pack.
False
Approximately half of young males will stay with their father’s pack, the rest will leave to form a new pack together.
True

African wild dogs tolerate scavengers at their kills.
True
African wild dogs tolerate scavengers at their kills, except for spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta). They drive off hyenas, sometimes injuring or killing them.
False

Which African wild dog subspecies is characterized by dark fur?
East
The East African wild dog (L. p. lupinus) was described by Thomas in 1902 and resides in East Africa, as the name would imply. This subspecies is distinguished by a smaller size and a high-contrast coat. The black markings are very dark, and although there are few yellow markings, they are a bright yellow-orange.
Cape
West
Somali

African wild dogs are specialist carnivores.
False
African wild dogs are generalist carnivorous predators.
True

What information is needed for African wild dog conservation?
Cost-Effective Survey Methods
Several pieces of information are needed to enable more effective conservation of African wild dogs. Development is needed on cost-effective methods for surveying African wild dogs across large geographical scales. This is crucial as surveys of African wild dog distribution and status are needed, particularly in Algeria, Angola, the Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. Determining the landscape features which facilitate or prevent wild dog movement over long distances will also promote or block landscape connectivity. Development is also needed for locally-appropriate and effective means to reduce conflict between wild dogs and farmers. Because contact with people, and thus domestic animals, results in the transmission of infectious disease, techniques that will be most effective and sustainable for protecting wild dogs from disease also need to be established.
Human Conflict Resolution
Several pieces of information are needed to enable more effective conservation of African wild dogs. Development is needed on cost-effective methods for surveying African wild dogs across large geographical scales. This is crucial as surveys of African wild dog distribution and status are needed, particularly in Algeria, Angola, the Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. Determining the landscape features which facilitate or prevent wild dog movement over long distances will also promote or block landscape connectivity. Development is also needed for locally-appropriate and effective means to reduce conflict between wild dogs and farmers. Because contact with people, and thus domestic animals, results in the transmission of infectious disease, techniques that will be most effective and sustainable for protecting wild dogs from disease also need to be established.
Disease Control
Several pieces of information are needed to enable more effective conservation of African wild dogs. Development is needed on cost-effective methods for surveying African wild dogs across large geographical scales. This is crucial as surveys of African wild dog distribution and status are needed, particularly in Algeria, Angola, the Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. Determining the landscape features which facilitate or prevent wild dog movement over long distances will also promote or block landscape connectivity. Development is also needed for locally-appropriate and effective means to reduce conflict between wild dogs and farmers. Because contact with people, and thus domestic animals, results in the transmission of infectious disease, techniques that will be most effective and sustainable for protecting wild dogs from disease also need to be established.
Reproductive Habits

Generally, the alpha male and female are the only African wild dogs allowed to breed.
True
Each African hunting dog pack has a dominant breeding pair. This pair can be identified by their increased tendency to urine mark. They are normally the only pair of pack members to mate.
False

Which African wild dog subspecies is characterized by large amounts of orange in the fur?
Cape
The Cape wild dog (L. p. pictus) is the nominate subspecies and was described by Coenraad Temminck in 1820. This subspecies inhabits the Cape area of Southern Africa and are characterized by a large amount of yellow-orange fur overlapping the black. They also have partially yellow backs of the ears, mostly yellow underparts, and a number of whitish hairs on the throat mane. Those in Mozambique are distinguished by the almost equal development of yellow and black on both the upper- and underparts of the body, as well as having less white fur than the Cape form.
East
West
Somali

African wild dogs prey heavily on livestock.
False
African wild dogs don’t prey heavily on livestock.
True

Like most canines, African wild dogs frequently urine-mark their territories.
False
The African wild dog’s social behavior is reflected in the lack of territorial urine marking, which is observed in most canid species. Occasional urine marking is seen in the alpha male and female, but not for territorial purposes.
True

What color is an African wild dog’s skin?
Black
The mottled fur of the African wild dog is short, with little or no underfur, and the blackish skin is sometimes visible where fur is sparse.
White
Orange
Pink

When are African wild dogs weaned?
5 Weeks
African wild dog weaning can occur as early as 5 weeks.
2 Weeks
6 Months
1 Year

What threatens the African wild dog?
Habitat Loss
The population size of the African wild dog is continuing to decline as a result of ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation, conflict with human activities, and infectious diseases that are spread by domestic animals. The principal threat to African wild dogs is habitat fragmentation, which increases their contact with people and domestic animals, resulting in human-wildlife conflict and transmission of infectious disease.
Habitat Fragmentation
The population size of the African wild dog is continuing to decline as a result of ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation, conflict with human activities, and infectious diseases that are spread by domestic animals. The principal threat to African wild dogs is habitat fragmentation, which increases their contact with people and domestic animals, resulting in human-wildlife conflict and transmission of infectious disease.
Human Conflict
The population size of the African wild dog is continuing to decline as a result of ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation, conflict with human activities, and infectious diseases that are spread by domestic animals. The principal threat to African wild dogs is habitat fragmentation, which increases their contact with people and domestic animals, resulting in human-wildlife conflict and transmission of infectious disease.
Disease
The population size of the African wild dog is continuing to decline as a result of ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation, conflict with human activities, and infectious diseases that are spread by domestic animals. The principal threat to African wild dogs is habitat fragmentation, which increases their contact with people and domestic animals, resulting in human-wildlife conflict and transmission of infectious disease.

Which conservation strategies have been developed for the African wild dog?
Improve Coexistence
Although each regional strategy was developed independently through a separate participatory process, the three strategies have a similar structure, comprising objectives aimed at improving coexistence between people and African wild dogs, encouraging land use planning to maintain and expand wild dog populations, building capacity for wild dog conservation within range states, outreach to improve public perceptions of wild dogs at all levels of society, and ensuring a policy framework compatible with wild dog conservation.
Expand Populations
Although each regional strategy was developed independently through a separate participatory process, the three strategies have a similar structure, comprising objectives aimed at improving coexistence between people and African wild dogs, encouraging land use planning to maintain and expand wild dog populations, building capacity for wild dog conservation within range states, outreach to improve public perceptions of wild dogs at all levels of society, and ensuring a policy framework compatible with wild dog conservation.
Improve Public Perception
Although each regional strategy was developed independently through a separate participatory process, the three strategies have a similar structure, comprising objectives aimed at improving coexistence between people and African wild dogs, encouraging land use planning to maintain and expand wild dog populations, building capacity for wild dog conservation within range states, outreach to improve public perceptions of wild dogs at all levels of society, and ensuring a policy framework compatible with wild dog conservation.
Introduce More Prey

What limits the African wild dog’s distribution?
Human Activity
It appears that the African wild dog’s current distribution is limited primarily by human activities and the availability of prey, rather than by the loss of a specific habitat type.
Prey Availability
It appears that the African wild dog’s current distribution is limited primarily by human activities and the availability of prey, rather than by the loss of a specific habitat type.
Habitat Loss
Disease

What name have conservationalists adopted to improve the African wild dog’s image?
Painted Wolf
Some conservationalists have begun using the name “painted wolf” to re-brand the African wild dog and make the animal sound exotic, rather than feral. Some argue that this shift may help promote positive attention and combat frequent misconception that African wild dogs are just feral dogs.
Hyena Dog
Cape Hunting Dog
Mbwa Mwilu

African wild dogs bark.
False
African wild dogs don’t bark.
True

African wild dogs have been domesticated.
False
Although many have tried, African wild dogs have never been domesticated..
True

The African wild dog’s prey is usually how much larger than the itself?
2x
African wild dogs mostly hunt medium-sized antelope that are about twice their weight or larger. Whereas they weigh 20–30 kilograms, their prey average around 50 kilograms, and may be as large as 200 kilograms.
3x
4x
5x

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Learn More About the African Wild Dog

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