South American fox
The South American foxes (Lycalopex), commonly called "zorros", in Spanish, or "raposas", in Portuguese, are a genus of the dog family from South America. Despite their name, they are not true foxes but are a unique canid genus more closely related to the wolves, dogs, jackals and coyotes than they are to foxes, which they somewhat resemble and after which they are named. The South American gray fox Lycalopex griseus, is the most common species, and is known for its large ears and a highly marketable, russet-fringed pelt.
The common English words "zorro" and "raposa" are loan words from Spanish and Portuguese, respectively, with both words originally meaning "fox". Current usage lists Pseudalopex (literally: "false fox") as synonymous with Lycalopex ("wolf fox"), with the latter taking precedence. The IUCN, for instance, retains the use of Pseudalopex while also acknowledging Lycalopex as a legitimate alternative.
Species currently included in this genus include:
- Culpeo or Andean Fox, Lycalopex culpaeus
- Darwin's fox, Lycalopex fulvipes
- South American gray fox, Lycalopex griseus
- Pampas fox, Lycalopex gymnocercus
- Sechuran fox, Lycalopex sechurae
- Hoary fox, Lycalopex vetulus
Relationship with humans
The zorros are hunted in Argentina for their durable, soft pelt. In Argentina they are often labelled 'lamb-killers'.
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- Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Lucherini, M. & Luengos Vidal, E. M. (2008). "Lycalopex gymnocercus (Carnivora: Canidae)". Mammalian Species: Number 820, pp. 1–9. doi:10.1644/820.1.
- Jiménez, J. E. (2008). "Pseudalopex culpaeus". IUCN. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
- Nowak, Ronald M. (2005). Walker's Carnivores of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. ISBN 0-8018-8032-7
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