Dhole | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Dhole | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Dhole Overview


The dhole, also known as the Asiatic wild dog, features a slender, agile body covered in a reddish-brown or grayish coat. Distinctive white markings on the chest, paws, and tail tip contrast with its base color. With a robust build and erect ears, dholes have a wild and alert presence.

Origins And Evolution

Dholes trace their origins back to the Late Pleistocene, evolving in Asia from primitive dog-like ancestors. Their lineage is distinct, branching off from other canids around 6 to 10 million years ago. Adaptations for pack hunting and social behavior emerged, leading to their unique niche as cooperative predators.

Over time, dholes diversified into various habitats across Asia, adapting to landscapes from forests to grasslands. Their evolution was shaped by interactions with other predators and prey species, influencing their hunting strategies and social structures.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Dholes are highly social carnivores, living in cooperative packs with a structured hierarchy. They exhibit complex communication through vocalizations, body language, and scent marking. Dholes are skilled and efficient hunters, often targeting larger prey such as deer and wild boar, using teamwork to bring down their quarry.

They maintain a wide-ranging territory, often covering large distances in search of food, and their cooperative nature extends to caring for the young and sharing resources within the pack.

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Cuon
  • Species: C. alpinus

Dhole Locations

  • India
  • China
  • Southeast Asia
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar
  • Bhutan
  • Nepal
  • Bangladesh
  • Vietnam
  • Russia (Siberia)
  • Mongolia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan

Fast Facts

  • Name: Dhole
  • Scientific Name: Cuon alpinus
  • Habitat: Forests, Grasslands
  • Diet: Carnivorous, Opportunistic
  • Physical Features: Rusty Coat, Bushy Tail
  • Nocturnal: Partially Active
  • Solitary: Group Hunter
  • Unique Order: Carnivora Family
  • Lifespan: 10-14 years
  • Conservation Status: Endangered
  • Fun Facts: Vocal Pack

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: Rusty Red
  • Skin Type: Dense Fur
  • Top Speed: 34 mph
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Weight: 22-44 lbs
  • Length: 3-4 ft
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: 1-2 years
  • Age of Weaning: 2-3 months

Dhole FAQs

What is a dhole?

A dhole, also known as the Asiatic wild dog, is a carnivorous mammal native to Asia.

Where do dholes live?

Dholes inhabit various habitats across Asia, including forests, grasslands, and scrublands.

Are dholes social animals?

Yes, dholes are highly social animals, living in cooperative packs with structured hierarchies.

What do dholes eat?

Dholes are carnivores and primarily hunt larger prey such as deer, wild boar, and smaller mammals.

Are dholes endangered?

Yes, dholes are endangered due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and conflicts with humans.

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