Saturday, February 5, 2011

Foxes acting like dogs

In a 16,500-year-old cemetery discovered in Jordan, a red fox was found buried alongside human remains, suggesting that the animal may have been kept as a pet long before dogs ever were. "What we appear to have found is a case where a fox was killed and buried with its owner. Later, the grave was reopened for some reason and the human's body was moved. But because the link between the fox and the human had been significant, the fox was moved as well," said excavation director Lisa Maher. Dog-like behavior of foxes has cropped up two other times in the recent weird news. In Belarus, a fox turned the tables on a hunter who had tried to shoot him with a shotgun and polish him off with the gun butt. Like the many dogs I cataloged in an earlier blog, the fox managed to get his paw on the trigger and shoot the man in the leg before escaping. For your viewing pleasure, I also include this link to a new viral video of a Russian fox licking a glass door. As it turns out, Soviet scientists attempted to tame foxes for years. "The domesticated foxes were more eager to hang out with humans, whimpered to attract attention, and sniffed and licked their caretakers. They wagged their tails when they were happy or excited. Further, their fear response to new people or objects was reduced, and they were more eager to explore new situations. 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.'" But Russia and the Middle East did not corner the market for dog-like foxes. The fox in the photo tried to befriend some campers in Italy. One of them writes, "The fox was with us for about an hour each day...[W]e were wary of touching it, even though it acted like it would appreciate being petted. For a while I even thought it was going to fall asleep at our feet like a nice doggy."

1 comment:

  1. Too bad there wasn't also footage of the man being shot by the fox.


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