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Recent genetic work by Keith Aubry and his colleagues at the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Washington, however, has revealed new information on the spread of the Red fox in North America.
Aubry’s data suggest that this species first reached North America during the Illinoian glaciation that lasted from roughly 300,000 to 130,000 years ago; during the next 30,000 years (the Sangamon interglacial period) the foxes spread south from Alaska, across what is now the contiguous USA.
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).
There is then something of a hiatus in the vulpine fossil record until the early Pliocene (about 4 mya), with foxes from China and Turkey among the earliest Eurasian specimens.
The evolution of carnivorans appears to have been a gradual process that happened in both North America and Eurasia, making it difficult to infer when it all started.
Evolution and Early Distribution Taxonomy North American Red foxes British Red foxes Size Appearance and Colour Samson foxes Distribution Habitat Abundance Ageing and Longevity Mortality and Disability Parasites and Diseases Sexing Activity Dens/Earths and Resting Sites Senses Vision Hearing Smell Touch Territoriality and Home Range Predators Food and Feeding Types of prey consumed Prey switching The influence of age and sex on diet How much food?