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Naturwissenschaften. 2007 Jul;94(7):575-80. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

The oldest African fox (Vulpes riffautae n. sp., Canidae, Carnivora) recovered in late Miocene deposits of the Djurab desert, Chad.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Géobiologie, Biochronologie et Paléontologie humaine, UMR 6046 CNRS, Université de Poitiers, 86022, Poitiers cedex, France.


We report on the oldest fox (Canidae) ever found in Africa. It is dated to 7 Ma based on the degree of evolution of the whole fauna. It belongs to a new species. Its overall size and some morphological characteristics distinguish the Chadian specimen from all the other foxes. The presence of Vulpes and of the genus Eucyon in slightly younger African locality, as well as in southwestern Europe in the late Miocene, may indicate that canids migrated in Europe from Africa through a trans-Mediterranean route.

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