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Why Don't We Have Pet Foxes?

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Channel: Science ABC
Categories: Biology   |   Society / Culture   |   Science   |   Social Science  
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Both foxes and dogs belong to the same family Canidae. Then why havent foxes become our companions too?

To answer this, in 1950, a group of Russian scientists began an experiment to try and create the first ever pet fox species. The study led by Russian geneticist Dmitry K. Belyaev started out to understand how animals are domesticated.

There is some evidence that early humans did try to tame the fox. But foxes are very shy and chaotic animals. In comparison, the wolf might have been easier to domesticate. This might be one reason that they werent domesticated.

The Russian fox farm experiment showed that it is possible to tame the fox. They are now investigating which genes might make some animals like the dogs friendly towards humans but others like foxes aggressive.

#science #funfacts #foxes

References:

Grandal-dAnglade, A., Albizuri, S., Nieto, A. et al. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 11, 39493978 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-019-00781-z. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12520-019-00781-z

Lindberg, Julia, et al. Current Biology 15.22 (2005): R915-R916. https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(05)01327-8.pdf

Lord, K. A., Larson, G., Coppinger, R. P., & Karlsson, E. K. (2020). Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 35(2), 125136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2019.10.011. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534719303027

Trut, Lyudmila N. American Scientist 87.2 (1999): 160-169. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27857815?seq=1

Trut, Lyudmila N. The genetics of the dog (2001): 15-43. http://iwtf.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/The-Genetics-of-the-Dog-A-Ruvinsky-J-Sampson.pdf#page=23


Image Credits:

Fox Farm Experiments images from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534719303027
Credits:

F.E. Muzzy,
K. Lord, et al.
Bruno Delsman, Hartland, Wisconsin
D.K. Belyaev, et al.

Wikipedia image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Silberfuchs_08.jpg
Author: Zefram

Wikipedia image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c9/Wolf-like_canids_phylogeny.jpg

Public Domain Picture: https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=223009&picture=jumping-fox

Public Domain Picture: https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=53869&picture=fox-in-the-street

Envato Elements/Red fox by UrosPoteko
Envato Elements/Fox in Patagonia by Galyna_Andrushko
Envato Elements/View of the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia by saoirse2010
Envato Elements/Wolf in the forest by johan10

Shutterstock/photo ID: 346296719/By LittlePerfectStock
Shutterstock/vector ID: 1363042571/By GoodStudio
Shutterstock/vector ID: 758374570/By DianaFinch
Shutterstock/vector ID: 149010440/By Robert Adrian Hillman
Shutterstock/vector ID: 1541624078/By Anna Vesnina
Shutterstock/vector ID: 507236950/By StockSmartStart
Shutterstock/vector ID: 1400480030/By JazMD
Shutterstock/vector ID: 1316181866/By Macrovector
Shutterstock/vector ID: 141498802/By subarashii21
Shutterstock/vector ID: 1150128464/By Nasky
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 370730354/By Michael Roeder
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 744113611/By Milan Zygmunt
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 1663566655/By Holly S Cannon
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 740924083/By Volodymyr Burdiak
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 754833847/By Ondrej Prosicky
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 523160830/By Alexandra Morrison Photo
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 1393008119/By Lopolo
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 1083227699/By gerasimov_foto_174
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 215734573/By Eric Isselee
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 478700209/By Beate Rhomberg
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 615574235/By Robert Adamec
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 283180574/By Syda Productions
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 647021491/By Veronika 7833
Shutterstock/Photo Id: 316332551/By Triff


Video Credits:

Envato Elements/Small Arctic Fox Laying Down on Green Grass by SightSeven
Envato Elements/Funny Fox in the Wild. Lies Down, Stretches and Sticks Out His Tongue by Egoreichenkov
Envato Elements/Fox on the Snow by Pro-Stock
Envato Elements/A Young Fox Turning Around Looking for Something by nordicstocks
Envato Elements/Black Canadian Wolves At The Zoo by cliplab_pro
Envato Elements/Young Girl Is Thinking in Studio on Green Screen by KinoMaster
Envato Elements/Running Dog by nordicstocks
Envato Elements/Man Playing with Dog at Sunset by Life_Music
Envato Elements/Experienced Scientists by Pressmaster
Pixabay/Puppy dog playful beach sand play by Coverr-Free-Footage
Pixabay/Red Fox Forest Animal Fur Cute by Sommerland
Pixabay/Wolf Animal Wildlife Predator by wolfyy01
Pexels/A Young Cub Fox Eating In A Bed Of Hays by Magda Ehlers
Archive.Org/Baby Foxes -- Heywood St, Worcester MA -- June 2009 by Nick Nassar


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