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When the ice melted the Holarctic clade spread south and east, while the Nearctic clade spread north, the two meeting in central Canada.Aubry’s data reveal more than just the distribution of foxes in pre-history, it also elucidates the relatedness of the animals currently inhabiting North America (see: Taxonomy).Following the retreat of ice from the last ice age (the Late Glacial) some 15,000 years ago, many of the larger mammal species began to re-appear and extend their range northwards.According to Derek Yalden’s fascinating book, , post-glacial remains of the Red fox have been found at several sites around Britain and suggest that this species re-appeared ‘naturally’ (i.e.and is thought to stem from the now extinct small fox-like , which lived in North America.During the late Miocene, around 10 mya, something important happened: the third, and for our purposes most important, canid radiation began.
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?
without any obvious assistance from humans) around 10,000 years ago.
Indeed, other fossil data imply that the ice forced foxes into the warmer southern regions of Europe (e.g.
Iberia, Italy, southern France, etc.) for only a (geologically) brief period, after which they quickly returned to central Europe and Britain; at the time, the UK was connected to the European continent.
The flooding of the Doggerland ‘bridge’ around 6,500 years ago isolated Britain’s foxes from those in Europe, putting an end to any natural mixing of the populations.
In their 1982 comparison of Red and Arctic ( comes from the Old World and dates to the early Pleistocene (between 1.8 and 1 mya) of Hungary and, in her 2008 study of Red fox dentition, Polish Academy of Sciences mammalogist Elwira Szuma suggested that the current line evolved either in Asia Minor or North Africa around this time.