Staying with the Shadow of the Tomb Raider theme, I wanted to write an article based on South America because part of the game takes place there. So, let’s get started with exploring the Maned Wolf indigenous to South America. However, the Maned Wolf is not actually a wolf. As you can see, it looks like something from a Harry Potter book, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
This fascinating creature appears to be part, deer, fox and wolf. Weird I know, but also a beautiful animal.
The Mane Wolf usually is described as a large, leggy fox. There is a zoo in Connecticut that has a breeding pair. Unlike other wolves, the Maned Wolf has no love of the cold, so in the zoo, they stay in a warmed den during the winter. They tend to keep to themselves due to being shy, but you can catch a glimpse of them venturing into their habitat at the zoo during winter on the occasional warmer day.
Unlike a regular dog or even a wolf, I owned an Arctic wolf years ago, they don’t have an actual bark. It is crossed with a roaring type of bark. You can hear it on one of the videos featured with this piece.
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Canidae
- Genus and Species: Chrysocyon brachyurus
The Maned wolf is the largest canid in South America. Though they look mostly like a fox and a wolf, they closely related to neither. It is the only species in the genus Chrysocyon. They have a diet of typically fruits and vegetables along with some small animals such as rodents. One of its favourite fruits is interestingly enough called the “Wolf Apple” Pictured here:
These animals stand at 3’ tall at the shoulders and usually weigh around 50lbs. They inhabit many parts of South America. Their usual range is from the biome of, northern Argentina, South and Central Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and southern Peru. They can be found in the wetlands, savannas, forests and grasslands of these countries.
The Maned wolf has a unique way to get the message across to its mate (they are monogamous) and other wolves invading its territory. They mark their area with urine usually on termite mounds as well as giving a loud roaring bark to call for their mate, for they do not howl, and this sound also warns other wolves in the area to stay away. These wolves have a nickname that fits them well. They are called the skunk wolf because of the scent of their urine smelling like a skunk after they spray. Believe me, I have been around many a skunk before in the wilderness, so I can imagine how you would be woefully aware of their presence in the wild. They have a 10 square mile territory to roam.
The Maned wolf has a very interesting and clever way to flush their prey out of hiding. They home into their movement/sound with their large ears and when they locate it, they tap the outer area of the borough to flush their quarry out. Then they pounce. A breeding pair only breeds for five days out of a year, and when that season comes around they are far more vocal than ever before. They are also more aggressive. The typical lifespan of these animals is about 7 years, but they can live as long as 12-15 years. The larger number is more practical for those Maned wolves in captivity.
Well, these are certainly an interesting animal. I wonder if Lara will encounter any of these amazing beasts in Shadow of the Tomb Raider? We shall see.
My Maned Wolf Gallery
Until the next time, like Lara and I,
Explore the World!