The maned wolf is the largest canine species in South America and closely resembles a red fox on stilts because of its long legs. It is neither a wolf, fox, coyote, or dog  but rather a member of its own Chrysocyon genus, making it a truly unique animal. They possess a mane that runs from the back of the head to the shoulders which can be erected to intimidate other animals when displaying aggression or when they feel threatened. 

Unlike other wolves that live in packs, maned wolves do not form or hunt in packs but prefer to live alone.  Maned wolf is considered as the last surviving species of the Pleistocene Extinction, which wiped out all other large canids from the continent.


Maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus)

The maned wolf is the largest canid of South America. Its markings resemble those of foxes, but it is not a fox, nor is it a wolf, as it is not closely related to other canids. It is the only species in the genus Chrysocyon (meaning “golden dog”). This mammal is found in open and semi-open habitats, especially grasslands with scattered bushes and trees, in south, central-west, and southeastern Brazil, Paraguay, northern Argentina, Bolivia east and north of the Andes, and far southeastern Peru. IUCN lists it as near threatened, while it is considered vulnerable by the Brazilian government. The average adult weighs 23 kg and stands 90 cm tall at the shoulder, has a head-body length of 100 cm  with the tail adding another 45 cm. The maned wolf also is known for the distinctive odor of its territory markings, which has earned it the nickname “skunk wolf.” The maned wolf does not form packs. It hunts alone, usually between sundown and midnight. It kills its prey by biting on the neck or back, and shaking the prey violently if necessary. Monogamous pairs may defend a shared territory of approximately 30 km2, although outside of mating, the individuals may meet seldom. The maned wolf is omnivorous. It specializes in small and medium-sized prey, including small mammals, birds, and even fish, but a large portion of its diet (more than 50%, according to some studies) is vegetable matter, including sugarcane, tubers, and fruit.

photo credits: wiki, Sean Crane, graywolfconservation, Sage Ross


Finished illustration for SaWolf, of his Maned Wolf character Samael!  I am so happy I got to paint this scene, it’s so peaceful and was so much fun to render.  Glowing sunset, sparkling sand, the sounds of the waves lapping the lonely beach, and not a soul (other than a curious lizard who wonders what Samael is reading) to interrupt a good book.  I found myself pining for the ocean while painting, and wishing I could be in a place as private and peaceful as this getaway.

The number of work-in-progress shots I have for this piece are enough that some steps are skipped in order to fit the limit for tumblr.  I tried to choose the important or most interesting steps, and fill in the details with the image captions.  Also, here’s a much bigger animated gif since the tumblr sized one here is a pretty puny.

24 hours in Photoshop CS6 with an Intuos 3 tablet

Larger final painting is here -