Finnish and Japanese raccoon dogs—on the road to speciation?
Japanese raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus) have been isolated from populations (e.g., N. p. ussuriensis) on mainland Asia for about 12,000 years. Since the environment and climate of Japan differ greatly from that on mainland Asia, different selection pressures have affected the two populations. This chapter compares several features of Finnish (N. p. ussuriensis, originally from SE Russia) and Japanese raccoon dogs to evaluate the progress of the Japanese raccoon dog towards speciation. It reviews the chromosome number, skull and tooth morphology, body size and weight, the ability to hibernate, reproduction, home ranges, habitat use, and diet of Japanese and Finnish raccoon dogs.
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