African wild dogs are among the most effective predators in the world. They use extraordinary cooperation and teamwork to pursue, overhaul and bring down their prey. As a result 80% of their hunts end successfully, compared to, say, lions at 10%. This is nearly all a result of their pack coordination, which is still a rich source of zoological research. It was only recently discovered that they use sneezes to ‘vote’ on hunting decisions – just one of many fascinating African wild dogs facts.
This cooperation extends to their social structure; they have complex hierarchies in which only the alpha male and female breed. The pack regurgitates food for the young, but this action is also extended to adults, to the point of being the bedrock of African wild dogs’ social life.
On the whole they are surprisingly non-aggressive; for example they do not fight over food but instead beg to indicate their wish to eat. Adults will allow younger pack members to eat before them.