Urocyon

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Urocyon[1]
Urocyon cinereoargenteus.jpg
Gray fox
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Caninae
Genus: Urocyon
Baird, 1857
Type species
Canis virginianus
Schreber, 1775
(= Canis cinereo argenteus Schreber, 1775)
Species

Urocyon cinereoargenteus
Urocyon littoralis
Urocyon progressus

The genus Urocyon (from the Greek word for 'tailed dog'[2]) is a genus that contains two (or possibly three, see next paragraph) living Western Hemisphere foxes in the family Canidae; the gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and the closely related island fox (Urocyon littoralis), which is a dwarf cousin of the gray fox;[1] as well as one fossil species, Urocyon progressus.[3]

Urocyon and the raccoon dog are the only canids able to climb trees. Urocyon is one of the oldest fox genera still in existence. A possible third species, apparently close to extinction or even already extinct, is (or was, until recently) found on the island of Cozumel, Mexico.[4] The Cozumel fox, which has not been scientifically described to date, is a dwarf form like the island fox, but a bit larger, being up to three-quarters the size of the gray fox.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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. 
  2. ^ University of Arkansas-Monticello. Meanings of scientific names of wild and domesticated mammals of Arkansas: Urocyon.
  3. ^ Prevosti, F.J., & Rincóon, A.D. (2007). "A new fossil canid assemblage from the late Pleistocene of northern South America: the canids of the Inciarte asphalt pit (Zulia, Venezuela), fossil record and biogeography". J. Pal. 81 (5): 1053–1065. doi:10.1666/pleo05-143.1. 
  4. ^ Cuarón, Alfredo D.; Martinez-Morales, Miguel Angel; McFadden, Katherine W.; Valenzuela, David; & Gompper, Matthew E. (2004). "The status of dwarf carnivores on Cozumel Island, Mexico". Biodiversity and Conservation (Springer Netherlands) 13 (2): 317–331. doi:10.1023/B:BIOC.0000006501.80472.cc. 
  5. ^ Gompper, M. E.; Petrites, A. E. & Lyman, R. L. (2006). "Cozumel Island fox (Urocyon sp.) dwarfism and possible divergence history based on subfossil bones". J. Zool. 270 (1): 72–77. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00119.x.