Despite its name, the maned wolf is not a wolf at all, nor is it a fox, coyote, or dog. It is the only member of the Chrysocyon genus, making it a truly unique animal, not closely related to any other living canid. One hypothesis for this is that the maned wolf is the last surviving species of the Pleistocene Extinction, which wiped out all other large canids from the continent.
Maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) Standing at almost a metre tall, the maned wolf is the largest Canid in South America and the only member of its genus, Chrysocyon (5) (6). With a golden-red coat, long pointed muzzle and large erect ears (7), it is similar in appearance to the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) (3). However, its extremely long, thin legs make the maned wolf immediately recognisable and, with its fox-like attributes, have earned it the epithet ‘a fox on stilts’