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Author Topic: Can foxes be bred with domestic dogs?  (Read 819 times)

Offline thedoc

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Can foxes be bred with domestic dogs?
« on: 06/02/2016 07:50:02 »
Charles Sloat asked the Naked Scientists:
   Can foxes be bred with domestic dogs?
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 06/02/2016 07:50:02 by _system »


 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Can foxes be bred with domestic dogs?
« Reply #1 on: 06/02/2016 17:23:49 »
I don't know... Domestic dogs, wolves and coyotes can breed and produce viable offspring (not mules). I know someone who refers to these three "species" collectively as Canis soupus.

My recollection is that foxes are more distant relatives, but I would not be terribly surprised if they could breed in...
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Can foxes be bred with domestic dogs?
« Reply #2 on: 08/02/2016 02:42:48 »
According to wikipedia no - as they don't have the same number of chromosomes.

" Members of the dog genus Canis: gray wolves, domestic dogs, dingoes, Ethiopian wolves,[2] coyotes, and golden jackals cannot interbreed with members of the wider dog family: the Canidae, such as South American canids, foxes, African wild dogs, bat-eared foxes or raccoon dogs; or, if they could, their offspring would be infertile.
Members of the genus Canis can, however, all interbreed to produce fertile offspring,[3] with two exceptions: the side-striped jackal and black-backed jackal.[4] Although these two theoretically could interbreed with each other to produce fertile offspring, it appears they cannot hybridize successfully with the rest of the genus Canis.[5]
When the differences in number and arrangement of chromosomes is too great, hybridization becomes less and less likely. The wolf, dingo, dog, coyote, and golden jackal diverged relatively recently, around three to four million years ago, and all have 78 chromosomes arranged in 39 pairs.[6] This allows them to hybridize freely (barring size or behavioral constraints) and produce fertile offspring. The side-striped jackal and black-backed jackal both have 74 chromosomes.[7] Other members of the Canidae family, which diverged seven to ten million years ago, are less closely related to and cannot hybridize with the wolf-like canids;[6] the red fox has 34 metacentric chromosomes and from 0 to 8 small B chromosomes,[8] the raccoon dog has 42 chromosomes, the fennec fox has 64 chromosomes. The African wild dog, however, still has the same number, 78 chromosomes, as do the wolf-like canids but it has yet to hybridize with any of them.[9]"
 

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Re: Can foxes be bred with domestic dogs?
« Reply #2 on: 08/02/2016 02:42:48 »

 

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