Monday, October 11, 2010
Falkland Islands Wolf..
The Falkland Islands Wolf (Dusicyon australis), also known as the Warrah and occasionally as the Falkland Islands Dog, Falkland Islands Fox or Antarctic Wolf, was the only native land mammal of the Falkland Islands. This endemic canid became extinct in 1876 (on West Falkland island), the first known canid to have gone extinct in historical times. It was the only modern species in the genus Dusicyon. Original research supposed that the most closely related genus is Lycalopex, including the Culpeo and his domestic forms which itself has been introduced to the Falkland Islands in modern times. But 2009 research conducted by a scientific team directed by Graham J. Slater, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, confirmed that the Falkland Island wolf's closest living relative is actually the Manned Wolf - an unusually long-legged, fox-like South American caned, which it separated from about 6.7 million years ago. It was known from both West and East Falkland, but it is unknown if the varieties were much differentiated.
The fur of the Falkland Islands Wolf had a tawny colour. The tip of the tail was white. The diet is unknown. Due to the absence of native rodents on the Falklands, its diet probably consisted of ground-nesting birds such as geese and penguins, grubs and insects, as well as seashore scavenging. It was sometimes said to have dwelt in burrows.