The Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Canidae Caninae Chrysocyon Brachyurus, otherwise known as the Maned Wolf or Aguará Guazú is the largest canid of South America. The Maned Wolf is also the only animal in the Chrysocyon genus. It bears minor similarities with the red fox as well as the wolf but it is in an entirely different genus than either animal. Some refer to it as the "fox on stilts" due to its long legs which are an adaptation to its environment of tall grasses. The closest genetic ancestor to the Maned Wolf is the now extinct Falkland Island Wolf. The Maned Wolf has an average weight of 51 lbs. and stands around 35 inches tall at the highest shoulder point. It is 45 inches long (including the tail), and has a reddish to orange coat with black on its muzzle and feet. On its throat, it has a white patch of fur known as a "bib" with more white on its tail and ears. These ears can be up to seven inches long. On its shoulders and neck, it has long black hairs that it uses to puff itself up so as to look larger than it actually is.
It is found in Brazil, Paraguay, Northern Argentina, Bolivia, and the Pampas del Heath in Peru. It lives in grasslands with some scattered bushes and trees. The Maned Wolf also prefers the temperature to be between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Its natural range has been reduced due to habitat destruction by humans. The Maned Wolf can no longer be found in Uruguay because its habitat there was entirely demolished because of deforestation. This destruction of its habitat has caused it to move closer to cities where its populations have been decimated for several reasons. The locals who believe in their native healing and protection charms would hunt them for body parts that had supposed magical properties to protect the wearer from harm and sickness. Second, the proximity to the city brought the danger of cars. They began to cross roads and in the process would get hit quite frequently.