Photo in the News: Baby Foxes Going to the Dogs

Picture of blue-eyed fox pups
Email to a Friend


February 8, 2005—Young foxes, or kits, scamper in a cage in Siberia, Russia, where they are part of a 45-year research project to domesticate foxes. Each generation has been selectively bred for tameness—fearlessness and nonaggression toward humans. By now the foxes in the project behave like pet dogs, barking and wagging their tails at humans.

Also like pet dogs, the domesticated foxes can "read" human cues (pointing, for example) much better than their wild cousins or even tame chimpanzees, according to a new study published today in Current Biology. The study authors call such behavior social intelligence. They say its appearance in domesticated foxes may help us better understand how intelligence developed in humans and other animals.

—Ted Chamberlain

See More Photos in the News
See Today's Top News Stories
Sign Up for Our Free Newsletters—Don't Miss a Discovery

NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS




ADVERTISEMENT

 

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.