The short-eared dog (Atelocynus microtis) is a rare and elusive species of Canid native to the Amazon River Basin. Like all South American Canids, their ancestors migrated from North America after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama and subsequently developed traits suited to life in the tropics, such as their short legs that makes it easier to not trip over all that foliage all over the place. While these traits are shared with several other Canids in the area, they are the product of convergent evolution. The short-eared dog apparently has no close living relatives, though the closest is probably the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), which is still quite distant.
Short-eared dogs aren’t picky about their environment, living in pretty much any sort of forest in their range, from dense tropical rainforests to swampland and bamboo stands. They are mostly carnivores that eat fish as well as small birds and mammals, but as much as 10% of their diet consists of fruit.
Little is known of the habits of a short-eared dog as they are extremely shy and avoid humans, so their lifespans and mating habits are almost completely mysteries. What is known is that, interestingly, females are larger than males.