Onto African wild dog ecology!

African wild dogs are an obligate co-operative breeder. That means they rely on living in social groups to reproduce!
Wild dog packs consist of an alpha male and female - the one's that do the reproducing, and a number of helpers. Pack sizes range from 2 to around 32 individiuals.
When a litter is born - usually between 2 and 12 pups - all the pack members help raise them, leaving a pack member behind to guard the den when hunting, and bringing food back to regurgitate for the pups (and the babysitter too if they are lucky!).
Dens are usually in the abandoned burrow of other animals such as aardvarks, and are generally in rocky areas in order to avoid Lions (more on that later).
The denning season is seasonal away from the equator - happening in the summer months when it is coolest. On the equator African wild dogs breed year round, on average every 11 months.
Breeding isn't the only things wild dogs rely on the rest of the pack for though! African wild dogs usually hunt as a pack (although sometimes they go for a solo hunt).
Often on the telly you will see long chases in open areas of large prey - usually wildebeest - where the wild dogs work as a team to bring the animal down.

However this isn't typical wild dog hunting behaviour - it's just the easiest + most interesting to film.
Most places African wild dogs live are made up of closed vegetation. African wild dogs are coursing predators - they will rush through the undergrowth as a pack, flushing prey, before individuals peel off to chase and bringing it down.
One of the most commonly eaten prey across sites is impala, but wild dogs will eat most mammals - particularly antelope but also things like hares and even baboons.
Large packs of African wild dogs are also better able to defend themselves against larger predators.

Spotted hyenas will steal African wild dog kills if they are able - but larger packs are more likely to be able to defend a kill.
Leopards and lions will kill African wild dogs if they can. Wild dogs don't often put up a fight against these big cats - they will generally run away (fairly sensible, lions in particularly kill a lot of wild dogs in some areas!), but it does happen occasionally.
Wild dogs are not the top predator in African ecosystems - they along with cheetahs, jackals and a bunch of other species - are what are known as mesopredators. They are kindof in the middle - they eat other species but are killed and eaten by other predators.
African wild dog activity patterns are crepuscular - they hunt at dawn and dusk.
This means that in the middle of the day you often find them snoozing in a big pile
Before they go off to hunt they do what is called a rally - basically they run around all over the place making lots of noise and getting very excited.

There is also a lot of pooping, scent marking, and rubbing up against each other involved.
You can get a sense of the sounds and utter mayhem that ensues before a hunt here (sound up!):
If you can't pop your sound on I'll describe it, it basically sounds like SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK chunter chunter SQUEAK :p
Wild dog vocalisations are super important for socialising and maintaining group dynamics. They don't sound a whole lot like domestic dogs - instead mostly using squeaks and their signature chunter - known as a twitter.
They also have a warning bark, and a long distance hoo call which is used for communicating with pack members over long distances. You can hear that here
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