FOX, a name (female, "vixen" 1) properly applicable to the single wild British representative of the family Canidae (see Carnivora), but in a wider sense used to denote fox-like species from all parts of the world, inclusive of many from South America which do not really belong to the same group. The fox was included by Linnaeus in the same genus with the dog and the wolf, under the name of Canis vulpes, but at the present day is regarded by most naturalists as the type of a separate genus, and should then be known as Vulpes alopex or Vulpes vulpes.
Concolor); three species of the Canidae, the South American wolf (C. jubatus), and two small jackals (C. brasiliensis and C. vetulus); and a few species of the Mustelina including two of the otter, two Galictis and one Mephitis.
In these particulars, as well as in size and shortness of leg, the dog resembles the weasel; and since there are good reasons for believing that the latter is protected alike by ferocity and stink-glands, it is quite possible that the dog, of unusual coloration and form for the Canidae, is protected from the attacks of pumas, jaguars and ocelots by his likeness to the tayra.
The dogtribe (Canidae), on the other hand, are, with the exception of Madagascar, an almost cosmopolitan group. Their place of origin was, however, almost entirely in the northern hemisphere, and not improbably in some part of the Old World, where they gave rise to the bears (Ursidae).