Sunday, June 28, 2015

Falkland islands wolf

The Falkland islands wolf (Dusicyon Australis), also known as the warrah, Falkland islands dog, Falkland islands fox, Antarctic wolf, Malvinas fox, or Falklands warrah fox, was the only native land mammal in the Falkland islands and it only ate ground nesting birds, insects, and seashore scavenging. And settlers thought they ate their livestock and it lived on the islands for over 330,000 years from the Pleistocene to the recent times. It was declared extinct in 1876 and there was a captive warrah which lived in the London zoo for 5 years. Like the dodo, Mexican grizzly bear, and bulldog rat, it had no fear of man. They were easy to kill because people would lure them in and stab them and they weren't dangerous to people and people also would kill them because of their kindness, occasionally, they were hunted for their coats as well. The Falklands had the coolest, gentlest canids in the world and now they're gone. If the warrah was still alive, you can even pet them but you can't keep them as pets because they belong in the wild and the Falklands are similar to Patagonia and it has Antarctic wildlife there like penguins, seals, skuas, killer whales, great white sharks and other animals. Great white sharks of the Falklands live off the southwestern coast. The Falklands have no native reptiles and amphibians. In 1690, John Strong from the ship caught a young wolf alive and it was fed and cared for on the ship but during the voyage back to Europe, the fox became frightened by the firing of the ship's cannon and jumped overboard. They used fire on the islands to scare them away and only 11 specimens were known. In 1833, as settlement increased, Charles Darwin warned "This fox will be classed with the dodo, which is an animal which has perished from the face of the earth". The Falkland islands wolf wasn't really a wolf or a fox, it was actually just a dog and people called it a wolf because of the shape of its skull. Its closest living relative is the maned wolf. The warrah was twice as large as English foxes. I think it would rather be called the Falkland islands dog rather than Falkland islands wolf or fox. There might have been another native land mammal of the Falklands that may have roamed there in prehistoric times. According to Lin Sagovsky, it would have survived until 1900. The culpeo or Andean fox has been introduced to the Falklands and the maned wolf, which is it's closest living relative, separated the Falklands around 6.7 million years ago. The 1st recorded sighting of the Antarctic wolf was in 1690. People call it the Antarctic wolf because the islands have Antarctic wildlife there and also, the archipelago is close to Antarctica but it's closer to South America. It might have been a wolf or a fox but like I said, it's more of just a dog. With John Strong, he was an English mariner that always went from Europe to South America and he named the Falkland sound for Anthony Cary, 5th viscount of Falkland, a part owner in the welfare. The warrah's scientific name translates "Foolish dog from the south". There are 2 distinct subspecies of the wolf such as the West Falkland island wolf (Dusicyon Australis Australis) and the East Falkland island wolf (Dusicyon Australis Darwini) and no one knows exactly how the Antarctic wolf arrived in Southern South America. It was also one of the 1st canine to become extinct in recent times. It was different from the arctic wolf or Melville islands wolf (Canis Lupus Arctos). Its prehistoric relative in Dusicyon Avus. The warrah and D. Avus were the only canines that belong in the genus Dusicyon. No one knows how the Falklands warrah foxes arrived there but they were unique to the islands. I guess it looked like a red fox but with a smaller tail. Maybe it lived in the very Northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula as well. Its extant relatives are the South American gray fox, maned wolf, and culpeo. Canis Antarcticus is an invalid scientific name that includes the Australian dingo and Falkland islands wolf.

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