The Crab-eating Fox (Cerdocyon thous), also known as the forest fox, Wood Fox, and the Common Fox, in Spanish: Zorro de monte, in Portuguese: Raposa. Crab-eating Fox is a medium-sized canid found in the central part of South America. This zorro remind jackal-fox cross-breeding and is classified to Canini tribe. This fox is currently the only member of genus Cerdocyon, but an extinct species is known from the Pleistocene: Cerdocyon avius. This creature was probably similar to the crab-eating fox.

The wood fox is predominantly greyish-brown with areas of red on the face and legs, and black-tipped ears and tail. It has short, strong legs and its tail is long and bushy. It may reach an adult weight of 10 to 17 pounds. This remind jackal-fox cross-breeding and is classified to Canini tribe. The head and body length averages 64,3 cm and the average tail length is 28,5 cm (Berta, 1982). These foxes weigh between five and eight kg (A. Hover; C Yahnke, 2003). They are mainly nocturnal and also are active at dusk, day spends in dug by different animals dens or other holes. It hunts individually or live in pairs, it eats crabs, lizards and different small animals. It is easy to domesticated and farming, but his fur is not so esteemed, how furs other species.

The wood fox is a bush dog that ranges in savannas and woodlands, especially the llanos of South America. It is omnivorous, preferring insects or meat from rodents and birds when available. Other foods readily consumed include turtle eggs, carrion, and plants. During the wet season, the fox searches for crabs on muddy floodplains and then retreats to a den on higher ground, which may be no more than a large clump of grass. It is mainly nocturnal, emerging in the twilight.

The adult female gives birth to one or two litters per year, and the breeding pair is monogamous. The pair ranges the plains together.

This fox is occasionally hunted, but the fur is not valuable. The fox does not pose a danger to livestock. This is not currently a species of concern for conservation; however, its habitat is slowly shrinking due to human forces such as agriculture, as well as feral dogs' encroachment on its territory, though the population is still stable. Contents [hide] Occurrence and habitat

It lives in thin forests and on grasslands of South America. It frequent occur out from Colombia and southern Venezuela to Paraguay, Uruguay and Northern Argentina. It lives the savannahs and afforested areas (Eisenberg, 1999) such how the, clear forests subtropical, prickly, shrubby thickets and tropical (examp. the caatinga) the half open savannas for example - the llanos (Venezuela) whether the campo (Brazil), and also the forests over river banks (examp. Riparian forest). In rainy season they appears in upland parties his range, meanwhile in dry time they moves to lower terrains (Nowak, 1999). It was possible live in everything type of habitat their range, exclude only rainforests, high mountains and full grass savannas. In some regions menaced extinction. Taxonomy and evolution

Cerdocyon thous, Cerdocyon avius and other species included to Cerdocyon genus underwent radiational evolution on South American continent (Quatl, 2007). All relatives crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous) are extinct. It is the only representative of kind at present Cerdocyon. As one of species of tribe Canini, it is nearer or further related with Canis genus. It was theorized at present that crab-eating fox is the nearest related with Short-eared Dog. This has to become however supported with mitochondrial investigations (Quatl, 2007). To Cerdocyon genus long ago the included two subgenus ( how the subgenera) Atelocynus and Speothos, and later both with Cerdocyon was classified in Dusicyon genus (Clutton - Brock, the et of al., 1976). Diploid number of chromosomes carries out 74 (36 pairs). As it occupies the similar habitations how in different parts of world the red fox, he on result of convergent evolution became his the South American equivalent. Appearance

Crab-eating fox produced five subspecies(see below) differing with sizes and coloring of fur (Bisbal, 1988). Short and thick fur. Changing coloration presents from grey - brown, yellow air raid across more pale, navy-blue spotted, until after darkly grey. Black streak, darker tail along back legs, the black stripe run along the back. On muzzle, ears and paws more reddish fur. Tail, legs and ended ears are black. They has somewhat narrow trunk and strong short legs. Densely hairy tail keeps higher when they are raptured. They has wide and round ears. It possesses 42 teeth corresponsive to consumption of variety diet - from meat to vegetable. Life cycle and behaviour

Crab-eating Fox creates monogamic steams, or small groups which hunt with steams severally, and during reproductive season. The condensation of population introduces as follows: some explorers show one individual distribution for 4 km2. Berta (1982) shows on had changed since 0,6 to 0,9 km2 for one individual. During the dry time was noticed territorialism, during rainy seasons when it is more food they less be restore for attention for the individual areas of territory (Nowak, 1999). Hideouts and den often are founded in bushes, and also found in thick grass, these holes have several to enter. Despite that clever to kicking of own holes, they do this reluctantly and often they take over it after different animals. Males during reproductive season often help females in rearing young’s. The methods of hunting are adapted to the victims' type. Among several sounds given by crab-eating fox to the most characteristic they belong: barking, whirr and howl which be executed often when steams lost the contact. Different ways of greeting, this example: waving the tail, falling over pick-a-back, or the being with sign of subordination with do the lying the ears. When some individuals again meeting oneself, who knowed and belonged to the some group, begin the some ritual to sniffing, the lifting of tail and mutual licking. Reproduction

As tropical animal reproduction it is not the addicted from times of year, it take place twice in the year. Reproductive period the most often begins in November and December as well as in July. The birth of offspring follows after 56 - days pregnancy or in February, January, or sometimes in March (Nowak, 1999). Number of young’s has hesitated since 3 to 6 (Mendel, 1988). Postnatally puppies are devoid teeth and are blinding (Berta, 1982). After about 14 days they open days to open their eyes, and accept solid food 30 days after the birth. Period of lactation lasts ok. 90 days (Nowak, 1999). Furs of puppies are darkly - grayish from brighter underbelly. Both adult male and female look after young. After about 20 - hundred days from births, the puppies' fur more and more becomes similar to coat of adults, meanwhile about 35 day fur is such how at parents. Sexual maturity of crab-eating fox gets after 9 months, and urination is her symptom territorial (Berta, 1982; Mendel, 1988). Diet

Crab-eating fox is food opportunist, because feed on oneself various diet. They eat tortoises', fruit and eggs, crustaceans, insects, lizards, crabs and carrion. Analysis fields shew on such part of food: rodents - 25%, reptiles - 24,1 %, marsupials - 0,6 %, rabbits - 0,6 %, birds - 10,3 %, amphibians - 35,1 %, fish - 5,2 %. Different investigations during rainy seasons in Venezuela shew such schedule food: 54% insects, 20% vertebrates, meanwhile during dry seasons 48% vertebrates, 31% crabs, and 16% insects. Consumed food is varied and diet is different in different investigations, which can suggest alimentary temporariness and diet changeability geographical. During wet season diet contains more crabs and crustaceans, during dry season more insects (Berta, 1982; Quatl, 2007). Crab-eating fox contributes to rodents and harmful insects' control. Threats

Despite that fur has cheapness, these canid often be killed by local though there have not no unambiguous proofs that it can attack farm animals. It is easy to domesticated, and they are often bred by local people. The latest factor don't make up however potential threat for stabilized population. The species don't protected at present, despite this, his habitation the shrinks across agricultural activity, as well as the more larger number of feral dogs can pose sure threat for number of species. Status of conservation

In Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) listed as not menaced extinction - Appendix II (CITES, 2000). However working in relation to species have to be confirmed and has pronounced some opinion favourably favorable. In case IUCN, crab-eating fox is written in category “Least Concern” that is ” the smallest worry”. The Argentine committee of Wildlife (Argentine Wildlife the board) declare yet the danger to endangered status (Canid Specialist Group, 1998). Attention

Name Latin Cerdocyon thous has come for three words Latin: “Cerdo” marks fox, “cyon” marks dog “thous” marks jackal, to be maybe therefore that it reminds miniature jackal. Spanish names denominative crab-eating fox this: Zorro del Monte, Azara's Zorro and Zorro Perro (Berta,1982; Canid Specialist Group, 1998). Subspecies

     C. t. thous, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana North Brasil.
     C. t. azarae, North Brasil.
     C. t. entrerianus, Brasil, Bolivia.Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.
     C. t. aquilus, north Venezuela and Colombia.
     C. t. germanus, Bogotá region (Colombia).