Urban foxes “diverging from their country cousins”

Posted By on June 3, 2020

According to an article on the BBC here, new research shows that urban foxes are tending to have smaller brains and a differently-shaped snout to their country cousins — smaller brains because they do not need to pursue so many different types of prey, different snout as an adaptation for urban foraging. We haven’t been out to measure the skulls of our local foxes just yet but, judging by the state of our lawn this morning, they’re still quite capable of taking down pigeons…

The published paper is here. Interestingly, the specimens on which the researchers were basing their analysis had been collected between 1971 and 1973; back then there were considerably fewer urban foxes than there are now (at least in the part of London where Foxy Lady grew up — and yes, sadly she is old enough to remember that era…) so it would be interesting to see a comparative study done with more recently-collected skulls.

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