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|This page is a part of New Pleistocene, a collaborative project detailing the fauna of the next glacial period.|
The Australian fox is a small vulpine descended from introduced red foxes to Australia.
Australian foxes are relatively smaller than it's red fox descendant, being generally between 13 and 16 to 23 and 30 inches high. They have patches of grey, black and orange around their bodies and live in large burros and have a long muzzle, with a large brush-like tail. The Australian fox has a slim body, with large claws specialized for digging.
The Australian fox reproduces once a year in late spring. Two months prior to estrus (typically December), the reproductive organs of vixens change shape and size. By the time they enter their estrus period, their uterine horns double in size. Sperm formation in male foxes begins in August to September, with the testicles attaining their greatest weight in December to February.
Parental social structure is a mated pair and their offspring, and the young of the previous year are believed to remain in the family even after a new litter is born. Playing behavior is common, including among adults of the species, though this is usually more common in males as they tend to be less dominant and aggressive as females.
Mating is relatively an easy process, a female selects a male based on the health, agility and behavior. Females and occasionally males will fight each other for a selected mate. Unmated females tend to travel in loose packs consisting of a breeding pair, with the female being the dominant.
Australian foxes evolved from the red fox, that was introduced by European settlers for purpose of hunting. They quickly established an invasive population. An issue is the red foxes preyed on many of the native small marsupials and weren't evolved to deal with the adaptable placental mammals. Despite human efforts to cull red foxes, they quickly reproduced in numbers to large to cull. After human inhabitants of Mars, humans ignored culling attempts of red foxes and they quickly became larger in numbers. They caused numbats and two species of wallabies to go extinct. Though the spreading of dingoes allowed fox populations to be controlled.