|Cranial and skeletal size in red foxes, Vulpes vulpes (Carnivora, Canidae) in areas with large variation in food abundance|
Many skeletal parts vary in size between yearlings of different year-classes depending on the food situation at the foetal stage as well as during the first spring-autumn period in life. The difference between year-classes is more pronounced for certain parts of the cranium and mandibles. The reason is supposed to be that full size is less important for some parts of the skull and bones than for other parts. Foxes born in years with few rodents do not compensate the bad growth that year by further growth later in life. Several parts of the cranium and mandibles will continue to grow in adult foxes, at least during their second summer of life, if the food abundance is good enough. The zygomatic width and the distance between C and P1 in the mandibles most often continue to increase in size after the first year, even when food is scarce.
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