Fox

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Category: Animal Info Pages


Foxes are a species of Canidae, where we also find dogs, wolves, jackals and coyotes. They are smaller than the others, and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They have flattened skulls, triangular ears, a long pointed snout and a long bushy tail.  They are smaller than the average domestic dog, with the largest sub-species weighing between 9 to 19 pounds for the Red Fox, down to 1.5 to 3.5 pounds for the Fennec fox. They have a wide variety of colours, depending upon their territory, from white, to black and grey to the best known red.

Foxes generally stay in small family groups and not large packs. Some species are solitary except for mating season.  They are omnivorous, and generalist predators, but will eat vegetation and eggs.  They are known for their “pouncing” attack, where they stay low to the ground to hide and then using their strong back legs to leap onto their prey.  They are also known to stash extra food in a cache, such as under snow or leaves, for later consumption.

Foxes have adapted well to the encroachment of humans on their territories. They are experts at hiding, and will find dens under porches and in yards. They can also be found in urban areas, where they feed upon discarded food and rodents.  Foxes also have a long history of being domesticated by humans as pets. They easily adapt to this relationship, but cannot be domesticated as a pet. Usually it is an occurrence of a fox living in a family’s yard, and through the feeding by the humans, become used to it until they are part of the family.  

Foxes have been part of human culture the world round. They are represented in myths and history in all regions. From the North American trickster spirit to the Chinese 9-tailed fox of folklore, to the fairy tales of Europe.  But, because they are so common, they can be an issue with farmers raising chickens or new born lambs. Foxes have been hunted and trapped for centuries for their beautiful pelts.  In some regions of the world they have been brought close to extinction.

Foxes have several types of vocalizations, from yelps to barks to growls.  They do not howl like wolves or call like coyotes.  Their tracks are also smaller than your average dog, and the nails in some species can even retract some, but still walk on their toes like dogs and cats.