Scientists say they have captured photographs of one of the most mysterious known animals: bush dogs.
Bush dogs live in Central and South America. They are a rarely seen and threatened species. But the photos suggest they may be more common than scientists thought.
Scientists used cameras that take photos in the forest when an animal passes by. Photos of the bush dogs were taken in wild areas of Panama. The traps can be found across the country from its Costa Rican border to its border with Colombia.
Ricardo Moreno is a research associate for the Smithsonian Institution. He and a team of biologists from Yaguará, Panama are studying large, wild mammals in that country. He says, "The bush dog is one of the rarest species that we photograph."
The researchers describe the animals as "short-legged and stubby, standing only about a foot (30cm) tall at the shoulder."
Like other dogs, bush dogs hunt in packs of up to 10. They are known to communicate to each other using "high-pitched whines." They eat mostly large forest rodents.
The bush dog is so elusive that photos of the animal were made only 11 times over 32,000 camera days. That is the number of cameras multiplied by the days in operation.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature says bush dog populations have dropped by up to 25 percent over the past 12 years. It is considered a "near-threatened" species.
Humans do not hunt or directly threaten bush dogs. But, habitat loss is affecting their numbers. They live mainly in rainforests. Scientists think the animals may require large forest spaces to survive. It is estimated that Panama lost 15 percent of its rainforest from 1990 to 2010.
I'm Kathleen Struck.
1.research associate 研究助理；助理研究员
“The cause of dementia is not vitamin D deficiency, ” said David Llewellyn, a research associate at Cambridge University and the study’s lead author.
2.mammal n. [脊椎] 哺乳动物
The whale is a mammal.
3.stubby adj. 短而粗硬的；又短又秃的；断株样的
He pointed a stubby finger at a wooden chair opposite him.
4.high-pitched adj. 声调高的；声音尖锐的；紧张的；陡的
A woman squealed in a high-pitched voice.
5.whine vi. 发牢骚；哭诉；嘎嘎响；发呜呜声 vt. 哀诉 n. 抱怨；牢骚；哀鸣
He could hear her dog barking and whining in the background.
6.rodent adj. 啮齿类的；咬的，嚼的；侵蚀性的 n. [脊椎] 啮齿动物
When there is a full moon, this nocturnal rodent is careful to stay in its burrow.
1.Scientists used cameras that take photos in the forest when an animal passes by.
pass by 经过；走过；(时间)逝去；过去；忽略；遗漏；不注意；
I passed by your house last night at about ten o'clcok.
Three years had passed by before she finally found a suitable job.
2.Like other dogs, bush dogs hunt in packs of up to 10. They are known to communicate to each other using "high-pitched whines." They eat mostly large forest rodents.
in packs 成群
Lions do not hunt in packs, but alone.
Wolves hunt in packs.