The Falkland Island Fox (Dusicyon australis, formerly named Canis antarcticus by Darwin), also known as the Warrah and occasionally as the Falkland Island Wolf or Antarctic Wolf and by Argentine writers as the Malvinas Zorro, was the only native land mammal of the Falkland Islands. This endemic canid became extinct in 1876, the only known canid to have gone extinct in historical times. Its most closely related species in the genusDusicyon of southern-hemisphere foxes is Dusicyon griseus, the Patagonian Fox.
The fur of the Falkland Island Fox had a tawny colour. The diet is unknown. Due to the absence of native rodents it probably consisted of ground-nesting birds such as geese and penguins, grubs and insects, as well as seashore scavenging (Allen 1942).
The Falkland Island Fox was reported to have been common and tame, when Charles Darwin visited the islands in 1833. The settlers regarded the fox as a threat to their sheep and organised poisoning and shooting on a massive scale. The absence of forests led to a speedy success of the extermination campaign.
G.M. Allen, Extinct and Vanishing Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, 1942
The FalklandIslands consist entirely, so far as is known, of the older Palaeozoic rocks, Lower Devonian or Upper Silurian, slightly metamorphosed and a good deal crumpled and distorted, in the low grounds clay slate and soft sandstone, and on the ridges hardened sandstone passing into the conspicuous white quartzites.
The FalklandIslands are a crown colony, with a governor and executive and legislative councils.
The FalklandIslands were first seen by Davis in the year 1592, and Sir Richard Hawkins sailed along their north shore in 1594 The claims of Amerigo Vespucci to a previous discovery are doubtful.
The FalklandIsland Fox (Dusicyon australis, formerly named Canis antarcticus), also known as the Warrah and occasionally as the FalklandIslandWolf or Antarctic Wolf and by Argentine writers as the Malvinas Zorro, was the only native land mammal of the FalklandIslands.
This was facilitated by the animal's tameness, as is common in insular species due to the absence of predators - trappers would lure the animal with a chunk of meat held in one hand, and kill it with a knife or stick held in the other.
DNA analysis of museum specimens have proved rather inconclusive as to the exact relationship of this animal, some even suggesting hybridization (during the domestication process) with a relative or progenitor of the coyote; it is not known whether this would have been biologically possible.
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