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Posts Tagged ‘Urocyon fox’

I came across this page featuring taxidermy mounts that were being offered in Craig’s List. It features an American mink and a western coyote, which are all fairly interesting animals.

However, when I scrolled to the bottom of the page, I noticed a problem.

This item is listed as a “kit fox” (Vulpes macrotis). However, it very obviously is not a kit fox or a swift fox (Vulpes velox) either.

Two reasons clearly suggest that it is not even a vulpine fox at all.

First of all, it is nearly uniformly gray in color, with tan or reddish hair in only a few places on the body. Both kit and swift foxes have significant amounts of tan on their bodies. The legs of this animal are almost totally gray.

In another photo, it appears to have a ridge of  black hair running down the length of its tail.

The only wild dogs that have this trait are the two Urocyon gray foxes. The mainland gray fox shares some kit fox range in the Southwestern US, so one can easily see how the two could be confused with each other.

Here’s a clear image of a kit fox’s tail– just to show they don’t have that black stripe down their tails:

Urocyon foxes are not true foxes, but the represent a unique lineage of New World canids that has retained some primitive traits– most notably, they have the ability to climb trees.

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Oh. Before I forget, the stripe of hair that runs down the gray fox’s tail can actually be raised like a hackle whenever the fox is aroused.

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