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A couple of million years later the dogs started arriving in Eurasia, and the Pliocene (4-5 mya) saw the dogs spread into Africa and South America.Around six mya, the first wolf-like dog arrived in western Europe.When the ice melted the Holarctic clade spread south and east, while the Nearctic clade spread north, the two meeting in central Canada.Aubry’s data reveal more than just the distribution of foxes in pre-history, it also elucidates the relatedness of the animals currently inhabiting North America (see: Taxonomy).without any obvious assistance from humans) around 10,000 years ago.Indeed, other fossil data imply that the ice forced foxes into the warmer southern regions of Europe (e.g.
The flooding of the Doggerland ‘bridge’ around 6,500 years ago isolated Britain’s foxes from those in Europe, putting an end to any natural mixing of the populations.Following the retreat of ice from the last ice age (the Late Glacial) some 15,000 years ago, many of the larger mammal species began to re-appear and extend their range northwards.According to Derek Yalden’s fascinating book, , post-glacial remains of the Red fox have been found at several sites around Britain and suggest that this species re-appeared ‘naturally’ (i.e.This radiation was probably in response to a vacant niche opening up as the borophagines started to die-out, and not only marked the birth of all the dog species we know today but also heralded the appearance of three modern-day genera in the south-western USA: (true foxes).
In essence, it was around 10 mya that the fox lineage split from the wolf-dog lineage.Previously it was believed that the first modern Red foxes (i.e.) to appear on the continent migrated (again, presumably across the Bering land bridge) from Europe at the end of the Pleistocene (around 1 mya) and, from here, Red and Arctic foxes colonised much of North America.Whenever and wherever this species first appeared, fossil evidence suggests that the modern Red fox has been in North Africa for the last 700,000 years and Europe for at least the last 400,000 years.