Is a fox a cat or a dog? What do foxes like to eat
Is a fox a cat or a dog
In appearance, the fox is indeed closer to the small and medium-sized felines, but far from the animals under the canine family, but the classification of species is not based on "looks", but on "inside", to take the simplest example, the hyena looks very much like a canine from the outside. For example, the hyena looks very much like a canine, but in fact it is a hyena, belonging to the general family of cats, and from the point of view of affinity, the relationship with the cat family is closer than with the canine family. So, from a scientific point of view, why is the fox a canid and not a feline? Let's talk about this briefly.
First, let's look at what are the differences between felines and canines?
Both the feline and canine families have a common ancestor, which is the archaeopteryx (Maltese), an ancient carnivore the size of a velociraptor, that lived about 50 million years ago. According to scientists' research, the paleocats are not only the ancestor of the feline and canine families, but also the ancestor of the whole order of carnivores nowadays.
. According to the discovered fossils, the canine suborder appeared earlier than the cat suborder, and the evidence is that the earliest member of the canine suborder, the dusky dog, appeared about 42 million years ago, while the earliest cat suborder appeared about 25 million years ago, and it was the proto-cat. Thus, chronologically, the canine suborder appeared about 17 million years earlier than the cat suborder. This also proves that the "cat-dog family" has a history of tens of millions of years. In such a long period of time, felines and canines have evolved independently and formed very different forms.
First: skull characteristics
The skulls of felines and canines have obvious differences. The overall length of the feline skull is relatively short, while the skull of canines is relatively long, because the muzzle (the forward protruding muzzle) of felines is not as prominent as that of canines, but the height of the skull of felines is higher than that of canines, which makes the opening angle of the mouth of felines larger than that of canines at the same size, which means that even at the same size, the bite force of canines is This means that even at the same size, the canine bite force is not as strong as the feline. (The picture below shows the skull of a cat and the skull of a fox)
Second: dental characteristics
Although both canines and felines are carnivores, there are some differences in their hunting methods and feeding patterns, which cause their teeth to have different structures. Felines are born killers, they hunt, prefer to kill the prey, and the strength of the ability to kill is reflected in the sharpness of the canine teeth, while canines are better at repeatedly causing damage to the prey, playing a war of attrition, so the canine canine teeth are relatively thicker than the feline, not so sharp, which can be seen through the above skull comparison of foxes and cats.
Second, most canines are pack animals, even solitary animals like foxes, their prey is relatively small, so when feeding, they usually do not even let go of the bones, which requires a well-developed molars, while felines have a strong individual hunting ability, usually only eat meat, so they do not need well-developed molars.
Third: paws and tail
As we said above, canines hunt by a war of attrition, and the war of attrition includes physical exertion, so the endurance of canines is relatively strong, they are hunting, often after a period of running, when running, the ability to grip the ground is a test for them, so, in order to adapt to long and long-distance running, canine paws are not retractable, due to long-term friction, their Claws have become thick and blunt, can not be used as a weapon.
Felines, on the other hand, are different. They are good at sneak attacks and one-hit kills, so they do not need too much endurance, and the requirements for gripping ability are not high, so their paws can be freely retracted, so that they can keep their paws sharp when they are not in attacking condition. (Except for the cheetah, which must use the claws' ability to grip the ground in order to obtain the ultimate speed, so the cheetah's claws are no longer retractable)
The picture above shows the paws of canines
In addition to the difference in paws, the tails of felines and canines are also very different. Under the feline family, regardless of size, they all have a long, slender tail with short, dense hair covering the tail. Canines, on the other hand, have much shorter and thicker tails than felines of the same size, and often have thick, long hair covering their tails.
Why is a fox a canid?
The above three points are the most important differences between the feline and canine families, and the fox, with its long, slender skull and prominent muzzle, is no different from other canids, but instead is far from the feline family. Secondly, the fox has a thick tail covered by thick and long hair, which is also more in line with the canidae. Third, the dental structure of the fox is also no different from that of other canids, with well-developed molars, significantly less sharp canine teeth than those of the feline family, etc. Combining these features, it is clear that the fox is a canid.
Of course, the most important point that the fox is a canid is that it has genes that are close to those of other canids, and genes are something that will not change even with how species converge and evolve.
After all, the two animals were a family 50 million years ago, and since foxes have always been solitary animals, it makes sense that they would have converged with other solitary animals of similar size (such as cats).
Although the fox looks somewhat like a small feline, it is a canid, not a feline, in terms of skull morphology, dental structure, and genetics. Another point is that group living and solitary living are not the basis for determining the division of species into families. Under canidae, the fox is uniquely solitary, and under felines, the lion is uniquely group living, both of which are merely determined by the living environment.
What do foxes like to eat
Now more and more people are beginning to breed some exotic pets, the fox is one of them, if you want to raise a fox at home, then what do you need to feed it to raise a fox?
1, small animals such as mice and birds.
2, apples, pears and other fruits.
3, egg food.
Many people feeding foxes will directly feed dog food, or various kinds of meat, but the following are the types of food that foxes like to eat the most.
First, mice, birds and other small animals
The fox as a carnivorous animal, eating meat is essential, mice, birds and other small animals are the fox's favorite meat food, this type of food can provide the fox with a lot of energy, if the fox is domesticated, you can prepare some beef, lamb, fish and other meat feed, or feed some animal fresh offal.
Second, apples, pears and other fruits
Foxes not only eat meat, but also some common fruits, such as apples, pears, etc. These foods are not only delicious, but also can help foxes promote digestion, so when feeding foxes, not only feed meat feed, but also need to feed some plant-based feeds, usually the proportion of plant-based feeds is about thirty percent.
Third, egg food
Egg food is the favorite of many carnivorous animals, and foxes are no exception. The rich protein in egg food can add a lot of energy to foxes, whether it is bird eggs, eggs, or duck eggs, all of which are delicious in the eyes of foxes, so if you feed foxes, you can not only feed meat, but also feed some eggs.
Most of the foods that foxes love to eat are still relatively common. However, since most foxes in the wild are active at night, if you feed foxes, you can interact with them more during the day so that they will be much quieter at night.
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