Tibetan sand fox: a fox that lives in higher spheres
The Tibetan sand fox or common sand fox only lives in Tibet, China, Bhutan, Sikkim and part of India. Its habitat is at a great height, so this fox is always in higher spheres. In China, this fox may be infected with a type of tapeworm that has unpleasant consequences for the animals that eat its faeces and indirectly also for humans. In humans, the infection is not detected that quickly and there is a good chance that they will suffer from a tapeworm and cysts for years. The Tibetan sand fox is quickly confused with other foxes also called sand fox such as the steppe fox and Ruppell’s fox. These foxes look very different and can be found in completely different areas.
- Taxonomic Classification
- The Tibetan sand fox
- Gestation and young
- Habitat of the Tibetan sand fox
- Parasite causes disease
- Empire: Animals;
- Strain: Chordia;
- Class: Mammals;
- Order: Predators;
- Family: Canines;
- Genus: Vulpes.
The Tibetan sand fox
The Tibetan sand fox or sand fox or (Vulpus ferrilata) can quickly be confused with the steppe fox or the Rüppell’s fox which are also called sand fox but are different foxes than the Tibetan fox and also look different in appearance. In addition, the Rüppell’s fox is found in the desert of Africa and the steppe fox in the steppes of Asia. The Tibetan fox is only found in Nepal, China, Bhutan and Sikkim and is not endangered. This fox species has no subspecies.
The color of its very soft coat is brown with gray patches in it. For example, the cheeks are gray. The Tibetan fox is not that big and has a length of about 65 centimeters. The tail is thick, measuring approximately 35 centimeters in length and has a white tip. The muzzle is narrow and the ears are short and brown to gray on the back. The ears are white on the inside and the underside. This fox weighs about 5 kilos.
A Tibetan fox usually hunts alone, like most foxes. However, where most foxes prefer to hunt at night, the Tibetan fox hunts during the day. That’s probably because their main prey is to hunt during the day. Sometimes the Tibetan fox allies with a brown bear and they hunt together. The bear digs out the prey and when it tries to escape they are caught by the fox. Fox pairs usually stay together and often hunt together.
Gestation and young
The Tibetan fox is monogamous. After mating, it takes about 55 days for the young, usually four, to be born. As with most other fox species, the young are born in a den. The caves are often located at the base of boulders and can have as many as four entrances with a diameter of about 12 inches. After eight to ten months, the fox is old enough to go out and take on its own life.
Habitat of the Tibetan sand fox
The habitat of the Tibetan sand fox is the Tibetan plateau in western China and the Ladakh plateau in India. It is also found in the countries of China, Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim. This sand fox lives in higher spheres at an altitude of 3,500 meters to 5,300 meters. It is also found in the steppes and desert areas of the Tibetan plateau. They live here on the dry to semi-arid grasslands, far away from people or dense vegetation.
Of all foxes, this fox is the most true carnivore. It has a narrow jaw and long teeth. It hunts marmots, hares, lizards and rodents. They are also scavengers and clean up the carcasses of musk deer, blue sheep, Tibetan antelope and livestock.
Parasite causes disease
Tibetan foxes in China suffer from the echinococcus. That’s a kind of tapeworm. It is mainly carnivorous predators that suffer from this tapeworm. Although the animals may be infected with the tapeworm, it can take a long time for the infection to become apparent. The tapeworm lives in the small intestines. Tapeworm eggs are secreted in the feces of the fox. There are animals that eat this feces and can be contaminated that way. Those eggs enter the digestive tract of the animals that eat the feces. The larva grows there. This larva passes through the intestinal wall, enters the bloodstream, and then goes to the liver. lung, brain, or other organs. There the larva settles and the larva transforms into a cyst. You mainly have to think of sheep, camels, pigs, cattle, goats and rodents. Humans can also become infected with this tapeworm if they eat these dead animals that are infected. Man is then the definitive host because he is no longer eaten. Foxes west of Sichuan are also infected with a species of echinococcus, only in these cases the fox is the definitive host.