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Russian Domestic Silver Fox
Transcript of Russian Domestic Silver Fox
Domestic Fox Project By Dannica Mae
and Alicia Zatylny What's the difference between these foxes and wild foxes? The project today Sources Dima and Manya
(owned by Toshiba Mark de Koning) Physical Differences Coat variations Dog-like habits and genetic differences How was this done? Why? What is it? The Russian domestic fox project is a breeding program started by a Soviet scientist, Dmitri Balyaev, in 1959. The project has been highly successful, and has continued for 50 years to this day the Institute of Cytology and Genetics at Novosibirsk under the direction of Lyudmila Trut.
Balyaev decided to use the silver fox, a colour morph the Red Fox, as the subject in his experiment. The foxes are today marketed as Siberian foxes. Baylaev used the process of selective breeding to conduct his experiment. This process involves choosing which specific animals are allowed to reproduce based on their traits. In this case, those traits were low flight distances (how close you can get to the animal before it flees), low aggression and higher affection and curiosity towards humans, the key being that these traits would be passed down to the pups. Doing this for several generations, the project successfully produced a new line of tame, dog-like foxes with an affection towards humans. - The Siberian foxes demonstrate what many owners say are dog-like habits. Such habits include tail wagging, fetching, whining, howling and barking, increased intelligence and high trainability, and a tremendous affection and desire for human companionship. - On top of personality and genetic differences, the foxes also show physical differences to wild red foxes. Shortly after the project began, researchers started to notice legs and tail growing shorter, heads becoming broader, foxes born with curled tails and floppy ears, and even foxes with blue or heterochromic eyes. It was concluded that, while breeding selectively for human affection, these physical traits were dragged along.
What researchers noticed the most, however, were the foxes coat colours... -Piebald (white base coat with patches of another colour) The project is still running today under the supervision of Lyudmila Trut. There are currently around 100+ foxes at the institution with four cubs ready for shipment to US owners in the fall.
For now, the only breeding program for these foxes is located in Siberia, and until this year there have been no adoptions outside of Russia. The first successful adoption of a Siberian fox by an American citizen was by Kay Fedawa who purchased her vixen, 'Anya', in early 2012. Kay works to help support the project and provide the foxes with homes in the US.
There is a possibility breeding programs outside of Siberia will be available in the future. www.domesticfox.com
- Marble (white with a gray and black or brown face 'mask'. Typically with gray, black or brown markings on the body as well.) - Platinum (silver or gold and white.) - Georgian White (white body with coloured ears, often with random spots of colour around the body.) The original purpose of the program was to study the process of domestication, or how wild animals are turned into tame animals which depend on humans for care. As well, the siberian foxes also demonstrate genetic differences to a regular fox. In a study, the foxes were found to have around 2, 700 different genetics to wild foxes and farm raised foxes. Unfortunately, the project has run into financial troubles in recent years. For this reason, the program has been looking for ways to fund itself apart from selling the foxes as pets in Europe and North America. Kay and Anya