Pup Playtime! Maned Wolf Pups are Five Weeks Old
Maned Wolves are not closely related with any other living Canid (wolf, dog or fox) and one study suggests that they may be the sole South American surivivor of the mass extinction of large Canids at the end of the last ice age.
Although the maned wolf displays many fox-like characteristics, it is not closely related to foxes and lacks the elliptical pupils found in foxes. The maned wolf's evolutionary relationship to the other members of the canid family makes it a unique animal.
Electrophoretic studies did not link Chrysocyon with any of the other canids studied. One conclusion of this study is that the maned wolf is the only survivor of the late Pleistocene extinction of the large South American canids.
Fossils of the maned wolf from the Holocene and the late Pleistocene have been excavated from the Brazilian Highlands.
The maned wolf is also known for its distinctive odor, which has earned it the nickname "skunk wolf."