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The depiction, though, is based on Williamson's description of the animal as resembling the Indian pariah dog.The species was first described in literature in 1794 by an explorer named Pesteref, who encountered dholes during his travels in far eastern Russia.When afraid, they pull their lips back horizontally with their tails tucked and their ears flat against the skull.In Central Asia, dholes primarily inhabit mountainous areas; in the western half of their range, they live mostly in alpine meadows and high-montane steppes high above sea level, while in the east, they mainly range in montane taigas, though may appear along coastlines.George Simpson placed the dhole in the subfamily Simocyoninae alongside the African wild dog and the bush dog, on account of all three species' similar dentition.Subsequent authors, including Juliet Clutton-Brock, noted greater morphological similarities to canids of the genera Canis, Dusicyon, and Alopex than to either Speothos or Lycaon, with any resemblance to the latter two being due to convergent evolution.adustus (Pocock, 1941), antiquus (Matthew & Granger, 1923), clamitans (Heude, 1892), dukhunensis (Sykes, 1831), fumosus (Pocock, 1936), grayiformis (Hodgson, 1863), infuscus (Pocock, 1936), javanicus (Desmarest, 1820), laniger (Pocock, 1936), lepturus (Heude, 1892), primaevus (Hodgson, 1833), rutilans (Müller, 1839) However, studies on dhole mt DNA and microsatellite genotype showed no clear subspecific distinctions.

Also, in 2011 to 2013, local government officials and herders reported the presence of several packs at altitudes of 2,000 to 3,500 m near the Taxkorgan Reserve in the Karakoram/Pamir Mountains region of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, on China’s border with Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.Also, one single individual was claimed to have been shot in 2013 in the nearby Kabardino-Balkaria Republic (a subject republic of Russia immediately north of Georgia in the Central Caucasus); its remains (including a skull) were analyzed by a biologist from the Kabardino-Balkarian State University in May 2015, who concluded the skull was from a dhole.Recently, in August 2015, researchers from the National Museum of Natural History from Sofia, Bulgaria (including Dr.Playful dholes open their mouths with their lips retracted and their tails held in a vertical position whilst assuming a play bow.

Aggressive or threatening dholes pucker their lips forward in a snarl and raise the hairs on their backs, as well as keep their tails horizontal or vertical.

Camera-trap surveys in the Yanchiwan National Nature Reserve in the northern edge of this Gansu Province in 2013-2014 confirmed the continued presence of several packs and a female adult with pups in this area at altitudes around 2,500 to 4,000 m.