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Pale fox

Pale fox[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Vulpes
Species: V. pallida
Binomial name
Vulpes pallida
(Cretzschmar, 1827)
Pale fox range

The pale fox is a species of fox found in the band of African Sahel from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east.[1][3] It is one of the least studied of all canine species, in part due to its remote habitat and its sandy coat that blends in well with the desert like terrain.[4]

The pale fox is long-bodied with relatively short legs and a narrow muzzle. It is a relatively small canid with weight ranging from 4 - 6 pounds. The ears are large compared to other foxes but is typical of a desert inhabiting canid. The fur is generally a pale sandy color that turns white towards the belly. Its bushy tail is reddish brown and black at the tip.[4]

The pale fox is typically inhabits stony deserts and semi-deserts although it occasionally ventures south into the savanna. It lives in small family groups with parents and their young. During the day they rest in dug burrows that can extend up to 15 meters long and descend up to 2 meters to the ground, at dusk they venture out and forage for food, which includes plants and berries as well as rodents, reptiles and insects.[5] It has the ability to retain water from its food, and can go almost completely without drinking.[4]

There are five recognized subspecies:[1]

  • Vulpes pallida pallida
  • Vulpes pallida cyrenaica
  • Vulpes pallida edwardsi
  • Vulpes pallida harterti
  • Vulpes pallida oertzeni

References

  1. ^ a b c Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628.  
  2. ^ Sillero-Zubiri, C. & Wacher, T. (2012). "Vulpes pallida".  
  3. ^ http://www.canids.org/species/Vulpes_pallida.htm
  4. ^ a b c "Arkive - Pale fox". 2006. 
  5. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/141.shtml
  • Walker's Mammals of the World, Fifth Edition,volume 1, Johns Hopkins University Press


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