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The Development and Reproduction of a Fox
Transcript of The Development and Reproduction of a Fox
Red Foxes mate once a year during the winter, usually between December and March. After the courting process the 2 foxes are bonded for about 3 weeks as they go hunting together and eventually find a suitable den. Unlike Grey and Artic Foxes who stay mates for life, the red fox will continue to breed with the dominate male of the pack.
Embryonic and fetal development
At the end of the first week the the embryo's have formed very high up in the uterus and begin to migrate towards the uterine horns. The embryo's then float freely around the uterine liquid.
The Development and Reproduction of a Red Fox
The gestation period is around 9 weeks as we saw in the last slides.
The litter size varies from 4-9. They are deaf and blind, weigh about 100 grammes, are 10 centimeters long and have short grey fur. For the first couple of weeks the mother rarely leaves them and depends on the male and probably other foxes for food. At this point, the cubs' eyes start to open and they can start exploring their den. Red Foxes have an 80% survival rate.
The male fox will mount the female fox from behind and commence simulated intercourse.
After successfully mating the males genitals swell inside the females vagina, linking the 2 together.It is also thought that by linking together the male prevents any other male from mating with the female.
The embryo's are safely protected inside the females uterus and continue to grow through the 2nd week.
In order for the embryos to survive and fully develop, they must attach to the uterine wall. Once embedded into the lining of the uterus, the embryos will be enveloped in a protective membrane that provides a steady supply of essential nutrients.
The placenta is a transient organ that allows for transfer of nutrients to the developing embryos. This organ will be discharged at birth and is often eaten by the female
Around the 22nd day ears start to form on the embryo
By the 25th day and ultrasound could be taken to determine the size of the litter and can also detect anything abnormal.From the 25th day of pregnancy, there remains a little over a month before expected birth
Up until the 30th day, there is slight development of the embryos. Around day 32, development becomes more noticeable as eyelids are formed
The organs are all beginning to form and the toes begin to separate. The embryos are now called fetuses despite being in the development stage. It is during this fetal stage, and nearing day 40 in particular, that most of the puppies’ birth weights are determined.
Nearing day 40, claws should appear on the fetuses
Nearing day 45 the first hairs should appear and the skeleton should ossify. The coat is one of the last organs to develop, as is the skeleton, which only begins to ossify in the final third stage of gestation
Towards the 50th day of gestation, the fetuses will have fully ossified skeletons, which will be visible in an X-ray.
Week 9, the final week
In the final days before giving brith, significant change in the females body shape. Her vulva will dilate and the pelvic ligaments will relax allowing enough room for the puppies to pass through.
By instinct, the female will seek out a quiet place to make her nest, and her attitude will appear on edge.
The puppies will be coming any day as this is the final week for pregnancy
By: Ashley Chamberlain