Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Planet Earth

Photo safari - African hunting dogs

Not Exactly Rocket ScienceBy Ed YongJanuary 31, 2010 11:54 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

African_hunting_dog.jpg

This, sadly, isn't part of the South African series. We weren't quite lucky enough to see any hunting dogs there. For that, I had to make a trip to London Zoo yesterday. They were worth the price of admission in themselves though.

To me, these are the most beautiful of Africa's predators. They are also the most successful, by some considerable margin. Attacking in large groups and built for long chases, around 80% of wild dog hunts end in a kill. This compares to a measly success rate of (I think) around 25% for the big cats.

Hunting_dog.jpg

Anyone following yesterdays tweets, which John Timmer described as "surly science writer visits zoo", will know of my frustration with zoo-attending parents. Buying the tickets doesn't make you David Attenborough. Nor does it validate the decision to insist that these animals are hyenas despite the fact that (a) they look nothing like hyenas and (b) there is a massive clue to the contrary. See below:

African_hunting_dogs.jpg
Hunting_dog_portrait.jpg

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In