EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS
Note: Since dogs and wolves are often treated as conspecific, some scientists would equate wolf × fox with dog × fox, a cross for which far more evidence is available.
Although potential breeding contact between the wolf and the red fox occurs in North America and Eurasia, fox-wolf hybrids are poorly attested. A brief report does, however, appear in Isis: Zeitschrift für alle naturwissenschaftlichen Liebhabereien (1881, no. 6, p. 48). It reads as follows: “In the royal Lippe-Schaumburg forests of Darda in Hungary recently, an animal was killed that was initially thought to be a very strong fox. A closer examination of this interesting
This single, brief, second-hand account, is apparently the only reasonably report of this cross, although Heck (1932) does say that a male fox-dog hybrid produced offspring with a female wolf (Canis lupus). There is also the more than two-century-old picture, shown below, of a supposed hybrid.
One piece of hybrid trivia can be properly filed under the heading of this cross: Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618) in his History of the World (London, 1614, Ch. 7), apparently in earnest, asserted that hybrids of all kinds were excluded from Noah’s ark in order to save space, since they could be reproduced later from their non-hybrid parents. He mentions the mule as one such hybrid excluded from the voyage, and added hyenas, which he said were the product of hybridization between fox and wolf.
Below: A Dhole (Cuon alpinus), an animal that many consider to have the expected appearance of a fox-wolf hybrid.|
The following is a list of reported dog crosses discussed on this site. Some of these crosses are much better documented than others (as indicated by the reliability arrow). Moreover, some are extremely disparate, and so must be taken with a large grain of salt. But all have been reported at least once.
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