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Hunting strategies and behaviour Killing to ‘excess’ and the storage of left-overs Breeding Biology Reproductive development The number of breeding vixens Mating and monogamy Gestation, birth and litter size Growth and development of the cubs Behaviour and Social Structure Live and let live: the evolution of group-living With a little help from my friends: ‘helpers’ in fox society Keeping order and knowing your place: the social hierarchy All in the name of fun: fox body language Nightly interactions Communication: something to shout about Interaction with Humans The fox in literature and film The emblematic fox Foxes held in high esteem: gods, devils and worship The fox as a resource: fur, meat and sport The verminous fox: foxes as pests Man’s best friend?

The evolution of carnivorans appears to have been a gradual process that happened in both North America and Eurasia, making it difficult to infer when it all started.

Nonetheless, taxonomists (those who study how species are related to each other) currently think that the carnivorans evolved from animals called miacids, which were small tree-living mammals that looked similar to modern-day civets.

) to appear on the continent migrated (again, presumably across the Bering land bridge) from Europe at the end of the Pleistocene (around 1 mya) and, from here, Red and Arctic foxes colonised much of North America.

Recent genetic work by Keith Aubry and his colleagues at the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Washington, however, has revealed new information on the spread of the Red fox in North America.

Recent work by Louis de Bonis and colleagues at the Université de Poitiers in France has suggested that the foxes and other canids first spread throughout Africa, before invading Europe via a trans-Mediterranean route towards the end of the Miocene.

There is then something of a hiatus in the vulpine fossil record until the early Pliocene (about 4 mya), with foxes from China and Turkey among the earliest Eurasian specimens.

So, the result was two isolated populations (or clades): one in Alaska (Holarctic clade) and one in the south (Nearctic clade).


 
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11-Jul-2019 08:02