Foxes: Dog Hardware, Cat Software | Animal IQ

Foxes: Dog Hardware, Cat Software | Animal IQ



Foxes may look like tiny dogs, but they pounce like cats — what’s going on inside the brains of these incredible animals? We called David and Amy Bassett to learn more! How badly do you want to play with the Bassett’s foxes?

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Foxes are described as “dog hardware running cat software.” These animals are incredible problem solvers, build extremely detailed mental maps of their environment, and can recognize individuals. Over the last 70 years, some foxes were selectively bred to be friendly to humans, and these descendants behave completely differently than their wild counterparts. What can we learn about #animalintelligence from #domesticatedfoxes? Natalia and Trace talk to David and Amy Bassett from the JAB Canid Education and Conservation Center in California to find out.

Special thanks to:
:: Save a Fox in Minnesota for some adorable fox footage ::
Help them save foxes here: https://SaveAFox.org
Watch their foxes on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/saveafox
:: JAB Canid Education and Conservation Center ::
Website: https://www.siberiancupcakes.com

On Animal IQ we dig into the research and talk to the experts to find out just how smart animals appear to be. We then use that knowledge to fill in our AIQ Rubric across five domains of intelligence: Social, Rational, Awareness, Ecological, and our own intelligence X-Factor. Every animal is clever, but their talents vary based on their evolution, biology, values, adaptations and environment. We hope y’all learn how each of our animals tick on Animal IQ!

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You can also seek out our experts and hosts here:
:: JAB Canid Education and Conservation Center ::
Website: https://www.siberiancupcakes.com
:: Dr Natalia Borrego ::
Instagram: https://instagram.com/untamedbiologist
Lion Lab website: https://lioncenter.umn.edu/natalia-borrego/
:: Trace Dominguez ::
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tracedominguez
Instagram: https://instagram.com/tracedominguez
YouTube: https://youtube.com/tracedominguez

READ MORE

How to Tame a Fox and Build a Dog
https://www.americanscientist.org/article/how-to-tame-a-fox-and-build-a-dog
A decades-long experiment opens up like a set of Russian nesting dolls, to reveal story after story, each embedded within the one that preceded it. The majority of foxes reacted aggressively when approached. A much smaller number cowered in fear. The smallest number stayed calm throughout. Foxes from that 10 percent of the population were selected for the experiment.

Maps in the head
https://aeon.co/essays/how-cognitive-maps-help-animals-navigate-the-world
We humans have been mapping space for many centuries, and our maps have greatly improved over this time so that now they are very useful for navigating. In antiquity, maps such as the beautiful Mappa Mundi did have features of the landscape – islands and capes – that were arranged in roughly the right relationship to each other; but the scale was wrong, the shapes of the coastlines were wrong, and there was no convention to place North at the top of the page as we do nowadays.

What Friendly Foxes Reveal About Social Psychology
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-brain-and-value/202009/what-friendly-foxes-reveal-about-social-psychology
In ancient traditions throughout the world, the fox is considered the ultimate trickster. The Moche community of modern-day Peru believed the fox to be a warrior that would use mental powers to defeat its enemies. In the Celtic tradition, the fox is a mischievous and elusive shapeshifter, switching effortlessly between human and canine form.

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