Wolves and foxes cannot and also do no mate, since they have actually a different genetical structure and they can’t have actually offspring due to the fact that of your genes.

You are watching: How many chromosomes does a wolf have

Even though both pets belong to the wider group the canids, wolves and also foxes be separated as 2 different species around 7-12 million years ago. Because then, foxes and also wolves have a different number of chromosomes, avoiding them native mating through each other.

This is what science has to say about why they can not interbreed.

Why carry out Wolves and Foxes not Mate?

The key reason why wolves and also foxes don’t mate is their genes: wolves have 78 chromosomes if a fox only has 38 chromosomes, meaning that producing a wolf-fox hybrid would be virtually impossible.

Another reason regarding why they i will not ~ mate is because of their size. Wolves are much bigger than foxes and will often assault foxes if they are in the exact same territory. They simply don’t develop a relationship that’s close sufficient for them come breed, also if they’re no true opponents in the wild.


As these two types developed, lock inhabited different habitats, making the near difficult for castle to breed anyway.

If you to compare a wolf and a dog, they have actually a much closer genetical framework than wolves and foxes.

Foxes, ~ above the various other hand, separation off from the common varieties much earlier, allowing them to have actually their own evolutionary development. Wolves and dogs just diverged native the same types around 40.000 years ago, definition that their genetic material is completely different 보다 that that foxes.

Read More: room Wolves and Coyotes the exact same Species?

When go Foxes end up being a Species?

Some researchers say the foxes evolved from the wolf species around 9 million years ago, when others date this all the means back come 12 million year ago. Again, others will certainly say the was lot later, at about the 7 million years earlier mark.

Whatever the timeline is, it’s clear that foxes an initial spread v Africa and also then to various other continents due to the fact that the continent framework was really much different at that suggest in earth history.

Foxes arrived in north America around 9 million years earlier in the Miocene, and then slowly developed into the red fox types that we recognize today (which taken place 2.6 million years ago).

Wolves and also dogs, top top the various other hand, only occurred as a types around 30-40.000 years ago. This way that they retained a the majority of the hereditary material from the initial species, and they additionally have similar genes which allows wolves and dogs come interbreed.

This timeline of the advancement of both wolves and also foxes has actually a lot to execute with why they can not mate today. Because they have actually taken various routes in your evolutions, that has end up being virtually difficult for them to breed as they have developed different genetics.

Read More: Why execute Wolves obtain Stuck Together as soon as Mating?

Are Wolf and Fox Hybrids True, Then?

There have actually been several reports historically about fox-wolf hybrids, especially from the 18th and also the 19th centuries; however, these hybrids never ever existed and still nothing exist, since wolves and foxes cannot interbreed.

In the 19th century, the was thought that wolf-fox hybrids to be possible, however science did no yet debunk that theory ago then – that happened only in the 20th century.

In 1881, a quick Austrian report speak the story that a fox-wolf hybrid that looked like a solid fox which was able to kill a big animal. In this report, this hybrid is explained as a stronger and also larger fox v the human body “that resembled a fox and also a coat that resembled a wolf”.

But this hybridization theory was current much previously than that. Back in the 16th century, teacher Walter Raleigh argued that the hyena to be the product the fox and also wolf hybridization. However, this report is recently seen just as a item of trivia rather than taken seriously by scientists.

There were also some reports and also arguments the fox-wolf hybridization was possible from the early 20the century.

However, every one of these reports, consisting of the one indigenous 1881, to be debunked by the 20th century breakthrough of science. researchers were may be to closely examine the genetic structures that both wolves and foxes and came come the conclusion that fox-wolf hybrids cannot exist since of their differences in genetic structures.

Read More: how do Wolves display Submission?

What is the scientific research Behind It?

If you take a closer watch at every the scientific evidence, you’ll check out why hybridization between these two varieties is no possible.

Wolves belong to the team of canids, and together with coyotes, dingoes, dogs, and jackals, have 78 chromosomes in 39 pairs.Foxes belong come the Vulpes genus, i beg your pardon is well-known for having just 38 chromosomes, other than for the fennec fox, which has actually 64 chromosomes. Still, even the fennec fox would be can not to breed, also though the has an ext chromosomes 보다 the red fox.

The most straightforward answer come the concern of why they can’t breed is simple: foxes and wolves room different species and they are not compatible with each other as soon as it concerns breeding.

Breeding the two animals would be choose trying to breed cats and also dogs, and also we understand that i will not ~ happen since the animals have a different structure in terms of genetics, and trying to breed them would certainly be impossible.

In addition, there aren’t enough compatible bag of chromosomes that would certainly be essential for breeding between wolves and foxes.

All that the above-mentioned proves why breeding between wolves and also foxes is impossible, and also why fox-wolf hybrids nothing exist and also never have existed, despite some exciting reports native the annals that history.

Read Also: are Wolves Monogamous or Polygamous

Conclusion: No, Wolves and also Foxes can not Mate

To conclude, wolves and also foxes perform not and also cannot mate since of their differences in genetic structures. Wolves have 78 chromosomes while foxes only have actually 38, making the biologically and scientifically difficult for the two varieties to mate and breed.

See more: What Is 4 4/5 As An Improper Fraction 4 4/5, Convert To An Improper Fraction 4 4/5

In addition, the two species took a various path in their advance and inhabited different habitats, i m sorry prevented castle from meeting each other and also breeding. Incorporate both of these reasons, and you can gain the full picture.