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14 July 2017 Variation in fur farm and wild populations of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes (Carnivora: Canidae) — Part II: Craniometry
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Abstract

The skulls of 165 red foxes (75 wild and 90 farm-bred individuals) collected in Poland in the years 2012–2014 were measured, analysed, and compared to further investigate the effect of ancestry and selective breeding on craniometrical variation between wild and farm red fox populations. Univariate comparisons of skull measurements (19 cranial traits), as well as four craniometric indices, revealed significant differences among vast majority of the studied measurements. Principal component analyses and two-dimensional plots showed almost complete separation of the two studied populations of the red fox, as well as clear separation of sexes between populations and within the farm population. This may suggest that the selective forces (artificial vs. natural selection) acting upon cranial morphology of the red fox vary between wild and farm populations. Furthermore, the second important factor which cannot be ignored when considering morphological differences between wild and farm foxes is the origin of compared populations (the Eurasian wild red fox population vs. the red foxes of North American origin — a founder population of farm foxes). Thus, the ancestry of the farm foxes is discussed as well.

Copyright remains with the author(s) or their institution(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
Magdalena Zatoń-Dobrowolska, Magdalena Moska, Anna Mucha, Heliodor Wierzbicki, and Maciej Dobrowolski "Variation in fur farm and wild populations of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes (Carnivora: Canidae) — Part II: Craniometry," Canadian Journal of Animal Science 98(1), 84-97, (14 July 2017). https://doi.org/10.1139/cjas-2017-0015
Received: 5 February 2017; Accepted: 1 June 2017; Published: 14 July 2017
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