Veronica's Random Dose - Dusicyon Thous - The Crab-Eating Fox.
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- The Unknown Cousins
Red foxes are well known to most people, especially here in the United States, even if they aren't an animal we see everyday. What isn't thought about much, is the fact that they are wild relatives of the...
Among the arctic fox, gray fox, swift fox, and kit foxes, there is one fox that has stood out first and foremost in my mind - The crab-eating fox (Dusicyon thous).
* The Crab-Eating Fox's Habitat.
Although it may be found on the fringes of the Amazon Basin rainforest's lush lowland, the crab-eating fox also inhabits woodland and grassland in the highlands around the Basin.
In addition, it ranges from Columbia and Venezuela in the north to Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina in the south.
* Its Physical Characteristics.
Crab-eating foxes share a body-form typical of its peers. However, their legs are a little shorter than most foxes, their fur is grey to brown with a pale underside with some red on the face, ears and legs, and the tips of the crab-eating fox's ears, legs and tail are black.
* Its Diet.
In keeping with its name, the crab-eating fox's diet consists of - you guessed it - crabs (and other crustaceans)!
Since it is a nocturnal creature, it locates the crabs in the dark by listening for the rustling they make as they maneuver their way through thick vegetation.
In addition to deeding on both freshwater and coastal crabs, this surprisingly omnivorous animal feeds on a wide range of other foods.
These include small mammals, birds, insects and other invertebrates, turtle eggs, lizards, fruits and carrion.
* Crab-Eating Foxes - Loyal To A Fault.
Crab-eating foxes live in male-female pairs, and will stick with each other until one partner dies. They travel and den in pairs, and defend their territory in pairs (although they hunt alone).
In addition, both parents have an active share in finding food for; and guarding their young until they become independent (which occurs some five to six months after their birth).
* Threats - To This Unassuming Creature.
Despite its lifespan of ten years and its apparent lack of danger to livestock; the crab-eating fox's "habitat is slowly shrinking due to human forces such as agriculture, as well as feral dogs encroachment on its territory, though the population (at this time) is still stable." - Wikipedia.
From the little that's known of the crab-eating fox, it's apparent how amazing this unassuming creature is - worthy of its place in the world of nature.
ref: The book The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals Of America © 2006.