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A black spot, the location of the supracaudal gland, is usually present at the base of the tail. This captive example shows the dark pigment of the eyes, nose, and lips that would not occur in an albino.Complete albinism in red foxes is rare and primarily occurs in southern forest zones.The word "fox" comes from Old English, which derived from Proto-Germanic *fuhsaz. vulpes by its slightly smaller size, distinctly smaller teeth, and widely spaced premolars. It is ruddy to grey-brown above and darker on the back of the neck. The hindquarters are frosted with white and the tail is clear grey in colour.Compare with West Frisian foks, Dutch vos, and German Fuchs. Red foxes present in Britain (and therefore Australia) are usually ascribed to this subspecies, though many populations there display a great degree of tooth compaction not present in continental European populations. Their skulls are fairly narrow and elongated, with small braincases. Sexual dimorphism of the skull is more pronounced than in corsac foxes, with female red foxes tending to have smaller skulls than males, with wider nasal regions and hard palates, as well as having larger canines.The remaining lower surface of the body is dark, brown or reddish.The upper parts of the limbs are rusty reddish, while the paws are black.Gene mapping demonstrates that red foxes in North America have been isolated from their Old World counterparts for over 400,000 years, thus raising the possibility that speciation has occurred, and that the previous binomial name of Vulpes fulva may be valid. They have a stride of 25–35 cm (9.8–13.8 in) when walking at a normal pace.
Likewise, Portuguese: from rabo 'tail', Lithuanian uodẽgis from uodegà 'tail', and Ojibwa waagosh from waa, which refers to the up and down "bounce" or flickering of an animal or its tail. The fur is bright red with a strongly developed whitish and yellow ripple on the lower back. On average, adults measure 35–50 cm (14–20 in) high at the shoulder and 45–90 cm (18–35 in) in body length with tails measuring 30–55.5 cm (11.8–21.9 in).The scientific term vulpes derives from the Latin word for fox, and gives the adjectives vulpine and vulpecular. Scandinavia and the northern and middle (forest) districts of the European part of the former Soviet Union, southwards to forest-steppe and eastwards approximately to the Urals, and probably Central and Western Europe A small subspecies weighing 4 kg, its maximum skull length is 132–39 mm in males and 121–26 mm in females. The ears measure 7.7–12.5 cm (3–5 in) and the hind feet 12–18.5 cm (5–7 in).The red fox is considered a more specialised form of Vulpes than the Afghan, corsac and Bengal foxes in the direction of size and adaptation to carnivory; the skull displays much fewer neotenous traits than in other species, and its facial area is more developed. The fur is rusty grey or rusty brown, with a brighter rusty stripe along the spine. A large subspecies, it is the most brightly coloured of Old World red foxes, the fur being saturated bright-reddish and almost lacking the bright ripple along the back and flanks. A large subspecies, its coat is variable in colour, ranging from reddish to red-grey and nearly grey. Weights range from 2.2–14 kg (5–31 lb), with vixens typically weighing 15–20% less than males.Red foxes are usually together in pairs or small groups consisting of families, such as a mated pair and their young, or a male with several females having kinship ties.The young of the mated pair remain with their parents to assist in caring for new kits.