Fantastic Mr Fox

I seem to be stuck on children’s book themes, first Paddington and now Roald Dahl…

In the same area as the Spectacled Bears there are these beautiful foxes:

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Called the Paramo Fox by my guide, they are the local variant of the Andean Fox, or Culpeo. The Latin name is Lycalopex culpaeus. These two hang around the ranger’s station at the park, and are unusually tame, which is why I got good photos!

Foxes interest me, because although they all look very similar, they are only very distantly  related to each other. For example, in Maine we have the Gray Fox, Latin name Urocyon cinereoargenteus:

mother and four cubs 007

This one raised five kits under my porch one summer. Rather astonishingly, the Gray Fox climbs trees:

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Foxes are all canids, and have evolved to fill very similar niches in their local environments, but they belong to different genera, so that the red fox of the UK is Vulpes vulpes, different again from the two above.

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