Foxes-Varieties-Are red, silver grey and black foxes three distinct species or are the silver and black varieties merely freak colors of the red fox?
It is not known, but naturalists have advanced two theories, either of which sounds plausible. The most generally accepted belief is that the black, silver and cross foxes are freaks of the red species and are caused in some way by the cooler climate, as they are found only in northern countries or the more southern portions where the high altitude gives a general cold climate. The other theory is that ages ago the black fox inhabited the far North and the higher altitudes of the West, while the other portions the red fox was found, and that they gradually mixed and interbred, giving rise to the silver grey and cross phases. One thing is well known, namely that the red, cross and silver varieties are frequently found in the same family.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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