Fun Maned Wolf Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Maned Wolf Facts For Kids

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The Maned wolf is a unique species; it is neither a true wolf nor fox as per recent genetic studies. The largest of the canines in South America, with a very different appearance from wolves, resembles a fox with large ears and slender legs. It is famously known as 'fox on stilts' due to its red coloring. This animal is a vertebrate, can stand erected to intimidate other animals when it feels threatened with mane running from the back of the head to shoulders. It makes the once-heard-never-forgotten 'roar-bark' and is cited as crepuscular as it comes out at dusk and dawn. In reality, these activity patterns vary depending on the location and diet habits.

These shy animals face threats from humans and natural predators. They are currently endangered, with very few left in the wild. Although their hunting is prohibited in many regions of South America, such as northern Argentina and Brazil, though it is difficult to ensure these conservation rules are enforced strictly. Read on to learn more about the Maned wolf's lifestyle and habits.

If you enjoy reading these Maned Wolf facts, do read our articles on Tree pangolin and Pyrenean ibex for more exciting content.

Fun Maned Wolf Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Fruits, vegetables, and small animals such as birds, rabbits, rodents, insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

44-57 lb (20-26 kg)

How long are they?

50-52 in (125-130 cm) body length excluding 11 - 15 in (30-40 cm) tail

How tall are they?

29-35 in (74-90 cm)

What do they look like?

Orange, black, brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Pumas And Jaguars

What is their conservation status?

Near Threatened

Where you'll find them?

Grasslands, Forests, And Scrub Prairies


Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay









Maned Wolf Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Maned Wolf?

The Maned wolf is a wild animal and a distinct species, the tallest member of the Canidae family that cannot be comfortably classified as wolf, jackal, fox, coyote, or dog. DNA proof of an extinct genus Dusicyon, which includes the Falkland Islands wolf and its mainland counterpart, was discovered in a study. In historical times, this is very closely related to the Maned wolf as it shared a common ancestor with that genus almost seven million years ago.

What class of animal does a Maned Wolf belong to?

The Maned Wolf belongs to the Mammalia class with the scientific name Chyrsocyon brachyurus. Chyrsocyon means golden dog.

How many Maned Wolves are there in the world?

It is estimated that about 23,600 adult Maned wolves are left in the forest. More than 90% of them are in Brazil, with less than 5,000 Maned wolves outside Brazil. Hunting of these animals is prohibited in the grasslands of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay.

Where does a Maned Wolf live?

Maned wolves can be seen mainly in eastern and central South America, including Central and South Brazil, southern Peru, Paraguay, northern Argentina, and Bolivia. It is rare to spot them in Uruguay; it is believed that they may have displaced due to habitat destruction.

What is a Maned Wolf's habitat?

This species can be seen predominantly in South America across forests, marshes, grasslands, wetlands, and savannas. Maned wolves prefer open and semi-open habitats scattered with trees and bushes. They also share their habitat with many other carnivores such as the hoary fox, bush dog, pampas fox, crab-eating fox, pampas cat, puma, jaguar, and crab-eating raccoon.

Who do Maned Wolves live with?

Throughout the year, these species hunt, sleep and travel alone. Unlike real wolves, they don't form packs. Although they live in monogamous pairs, it is rare to see two of them unless Maned wolf's breeding season. These mated pairs defend their territory of around 15 square miles.

How long does a Maned Wolf live?

Maned wolf lifespan is about 12-15 years in the wildlife. Under human care, the average life expectancy is six to seven years.

How do they reproduce?

The monogamous species come together between April and June, their breeding season. The gestation period is about 62-66 days, and the females produce about one to five pups per breeding season and responsible for pups for the next 10-15 weeks. There is sufficient evidence that males provide food to their pups in the zoo, and unsure if this is true in the wild or a forest setting. These pups leave their territory at one year of age.

What is their conservation status?

The Maned wolf dwells in the Cerrado, huge savanna of Brazil. These endangered species have been listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Their habitat was subject to intense deforestation in the last decade. Other serious threats include direct persecution by humans, road kills, and disease due to domestic animals. More needs to be done to conserve their savanna, as it suffered far worse agricultural clearing, ending retaliatory hunting and killings.

Maned Wolf Fun Facts

What do Maned Wolves look like?

Long reddish-tan coats easily identify these species with large bodies, slender black legs, and erect ears. There is a black mane running on the back of the neck through the shoulders, black back, muzzle, and throat lighter in color sometimes. The long legs allow the animal to see above the tall grass, and it has the habit of standing erect when it senses danger, appearing taller than it is. The South American bush dog and the African wild dog are considered the closest relatives to the Maned wolf.

The Maned wolf habitat can be discovered with these Maned wolf facts.

How cute are they?

The younger ones are adorable with fur so dark that they look entirely black. As they grow, the coats start forming a reddish hue though the lower half of the legs remain dark.

How do they communicate?

Maned wolves are solitary creatures. They primarily communicate with the scent markings using powerful-smelling urine to mark their territory. Their very distinctive smell led to the nickname of the wolf being the 'skunk wolf'. Maned wolves also use loud calls called 'roar barks' to tell their mate about their whereabouts or to keep the other wolves away. They are also known for high-pitched greeting whines and low growl as a warning, distress, or anger.

How big is a Maned Wolf?

An adult Maned wolf can get up to 1.2 m, just about three inches taller than the gray wolf. When threatened, they look even taller as they stand erect.

How fast can a Maned Wolf move?

The Maned wolf speed is lauded as one of the fastest mammals but will not make it into the top 10 list. It is estimated to reach a speed of 47 mph. When they run, they look very similar to a deer running because of their long legs. Maned wolves are also adept at swimming up to 8 mi supported by the webs between their toes.

How much does a Maned Wolf weigh?

Maned wolves can get three feet tall at the shoulder and reach up to 44-57 lb (20-26 kg) in weight.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male and female Maned wolves have no distinct names. Generally, the male is called a dog, and the female is called a bitch.

What would you call a baby Maned Wolf?

The Maned wolf babies are referred to as pups, just like their canine counterparts. Scientists have evidence that the adult female produces about two pups at once. These pups reach sexual maturity after at least two years of age.

What do they eat?

The Maned wolf diet usually includes sugarcane, plant-based diet, and prey on small mammals such as rodents, reptiles, insects, rabbits, and birds. The fox on stilts' food includes fruits and vegetables for up to 50%, and they particularly enjoy lobeira or wolf apple as food, which is nicknamed as 'fruit of the wolf'. This solitary hunter rotates its large ears or taps on the ground with its front foot to sense prey in the grass; once it sees the prey, it pounces to catch it. Sometimes, it may also leap into the air to catch insects and birds.

Are they dangerous?

This shy animal is harmless for the most part, flees when alarmed, keeps its distance from people, and rarely attacks only when it feels threatened. From a few documented pieces of evidence, it is concluded that the majority of Maned wolves do not pose any threat to our safety. Other unprovoked attacks by wildlife Maned wolves happened because of Maned wolves' fearlessness due to habituation.

Would they make a good pet?

Keeping the Maned wolf as a pet is not a good idea as these are protected species. They easily adapt to man-made environments, but it is also illegal to own Maned wolves in most places. Even if it is allowed, these wild animals are not suitable as pets because of their highly unpredictable behavior. The Maned wolf temperament differs from the North American wolves. The Maned wolves ' timid and gentle nature keeps them aloof in the forest most of the time and meet with their mate only at the time of breeding. They enjoy hunting alone for food such as wolf apple or fruits and vegetables, and their other diet includes small animals such as insects, snakes, birds, or rodents.

Did you know...

The Maned wolf is a vital omnivore; it plays a big part in the seed dispersal of fruits such as wolf apple (Solanum lycocarpum), a tomato-like fruit. The Maned wolves actively seek this fruit for consumption throughout the year. It makes up for 40-90% of its overall diet. The Maned wolf disperses intact seeds by defecating them into the garbage piles of their colony and on the nests of leafcutter ants; these seeds then grow into fruit-bearing plants. This mutually beneficial cycle keeps repeating in the wild.

Why is the Maned Wolf endangered?

The Maned wolves are considered endangered, and currently, the listed conservation status is Near Threatened by IUCN. In their native range, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources classified them as Vulnerable species, while Argentina classified them as Endangered. In the last 15 years, their population is thought to have decreased by roughly 20%. Although hunting these animals is prohibited, they are subject to threats from road kills, deforestation, persecution by humans, and diseases from domestic dogs.

Maned wolves are widely killed by chicken farmers of South America, suspecting them of hunting chickens. They are also highly susceptible to diseases passed on by domestic dogs, who are usually aggressive towards these Maned wolves. They are prone to a number of diseases such as parvovirus, canine adenovirus, rabies virus, protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, distemper virus, nematode Dirofilaria immitis, and bacterium Leptospira interrogans. In some parts of Brazil, South American Maned wolves' body parts, especially their eyes, are considered good luck charms with healing powers, believed to cure snake bites, kidney disease, and bronchitis, making it one reason for their killing. Due to their large size, only domestic dogs and big wildlife cats like pumas and jaguars have been reported to kill this large canine. Some conservation efforts are underway to protect the populations of Maned wolves.

Different types of Wolves

There are three widely recognized wolf species worldwide: the red, the gray, and the Ethiopian wolf. Surviving various habitats and climates, wolves are the largest of the canid family. There are close to 40 wolf subspecies in different colors and sizes as per the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). The most common is the Gray wolf, native to North America and Eurasia. In the past, wolves were widely distributed, terrestrial mammals occupying most of the northern hemisphere. Due to habitat loss and deforestation in recent times, they occupy 5-8% of the 48 United States and two-thirds of their former range worldwide.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals, including the Tundra wolf or American pika.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Maned wolf coloring pages.

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