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The island fox is significantly smaller than the gray fox and perhaps the smallest fox in North America, averaging slightly smaller than the swift and kit foxes. Typically the head-and-body length is 48–50 cm (18–20 in.), shoulder height 12–15 cm (4–6 in.), and the tail is 11–29 cm (4–11 in.) long, which is notably shorter than the 27–44 cm (10–17 in.) tail of the gray fox. This is due to the fact that the island fox generally has two fewer tail vertebrae than the gray fox.The island fox weighs between 1 and 2.8 kg (2.2 and 6.2 lb). The male is always larger than the female.
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