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Domesticated Foxes


LostCosmonaut
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Something I haven't seen discussed on this site before; Soviet/Russian efforts to domesticate foxes by breeding for domesticated behavior. Article in Scientific American here; https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/mans-new-best-friend-a-forgotten-russian-experiment-in-fox-domestication/

 

Interesting that there were physical changes correlated with the behavioral changes the Russians bred for.

Many of the domesticated foxes had floppy ears, short or curly tails, extended reproductive seasons, changes in fur coloration, and changes in the shape of their skulls, jaws, and teeth. They also lost their "musky fox smell."

 

Buy one for only $7,000! https://domesticatedsilverfox.weebly.com/aquiring-a-tame-fox.html

 

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(not entirely unlike a dog I guess)

 

 

It seems like a pretty cool idea to drunk me, though I don't have a spare 7,000 dollars laying around (thanks student loans!). Also, I don't think my cat would approve.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vermin.....My Lurchers & my new Rottie/Staffie/Shepherd/Lab mix rescued our neighbours' cat from one last night.

 

Mr Fox was so busy circling his prey (trapped under a car) that he didn't see the high-speed shit-storm bearing down on him.....I called 'em off, but only because I didn't want the neighbours being woken up by a fox being torn to pieces outside their bedroom window.

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More media interest in the domesticated foxes; http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/08/these-docile-foxes-may-hold-some-genetic-keys-domestication

 

It looks like genes for various physical changes and domesticated behaviors are at least somewhat intermixed. One thing I'm curious about is how this relates to various dog breeds; with all the various breeds that exist (with physically divergent forms), and some breeds that have reputations for more aggressive behavior, I'd bet there's some cross connection between characteristics we're breeding for and shitty behavior.

 

Video from the article showing a fox that might actually be a photoshopped dog;

 

 

That fox is about a thousand times more excited to see a person than my personal toxoplasmosis vector is when I get home.

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  • 6 months later...

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