Whenever and wherever this species first appeared, fossil evidence suggests that the modern Red fox has been in North Africa for the last 700,000 years and Europe for at least the last 400,000 years.
Previously it was believed that the first modern Red foxes (i.e.
) to appear on the continent migrated (again, presumably across the Bering land bridge) from Europe at the end of the Pleistocene (around 1 mya) and, from here, Red and Arctic foxes colonised much of North America.
This radiation was probably in response to a vacant niche opening up as the borophagines started to die-out, and not only marked the birth of all the dog species we know today but also heralded the appearance of three modern-day genera in the south-western USA: (true foxes).
In essence, it was around 10 mya that the fox lineage split from the wolf-dog lineage.
without any obvious assistance from humans) around 10,000 years ago.