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The red fox originated from smaller-sized ancestors from Eurasia during the Middle Villafranchian period,[3] and colonised North America shortly after the Wisconsian glaciation.[4] Among the true foxes, the red fox represents a more progressive form in the direction of carnivory.[5] Apart from its large size, the red fox is distinguished from other fox species by its ability to adapt quickly to new environments and, unlike most of its cousins, is not listed as Endangered anywhere. Despite its name, the species often produces individuals with abnormal colourings, including albinos and melanists.[6] Forty-five subspecies are currently recognised,[7] which are divided into two categories: the large northern foxes, and the small, primitive southern foxes of Asia and the Middle East.