Fox lifestyle, habits and other interesting facts

(ORDO NEWS) — The well-known cunning sister fox is a frequent hero of many folk tales, in which the image of this animal is always associated with cunning and deceit. That’s right, because it was the fox who managed to feast on the kolobok with the help of cunning. Does she have the same skills in real life?

The fox is a predatory mammal of the canine family, the most common and largest species of the fox genus.

They are often mistaken for other members of the Canidae family, which includes jackals, wolves, and dogs. These animals are found all over the world – in North America, Europe, Asia and North Africa – and live in completely different parts of the world.

How big are foxes?

The size of the fox depends on its species and varies from 18 cm (the smallest fox has a fennec fox) to 90 cm. The weight of the fox also changes – from 0.7 to 10 kg. All foxes are distinguished by a special generic feature – an elongated muzzle and an elongated body.

And every decent fox has a fluffy tail. This most fluffy tail of a fox is not only created by nature for beauty, but also serves practical purposes, it acts as a stabilizer while running, and in winter colds it can additionally warm its mistress. The length of the tail of a fox depends on its species, on average it is 40-60 cm.

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Habitat: where do they live?

Foxes usually live in forested areas, although they are also found in mountains, grasslands, and deserts. They make their homes by digging holes in the ground.

These burrows, also called lairs, provide a cool place to sleep, a good place to store food, and a safe place for puppies. Burrows are dug tunnels that contain rooms for a family of foxes. Burrows also have multiple exits in case predators attack.

Fox habits

Foxes tend to live in packs. A group of foxes is called a leash or flocks. No matter what you call them, foxes love to stay close to family members. The flock may include older relatives, foxes of breeding age, as well as comrades. Male foxes are known as dogs, tods, or reynards, while females are called foxes.

According to the National Parks and Wildlife Service of Ireland, these mammals like to hunt at night and are nocturnal. This means that they sleep during the day. However, this can change depending on where the fox pack lives. If they live in a place where they feel safe, the fox pack can hunt during the daytime.

Foxes have excellent eyesight. They can see just as well as cats. Their eyes are very cat-like due to their vertical pupils. They are also very fast and can run at speeds up to 72 km/h. Their speed is equal to that of a black antelope, one of the fastest animals in the world.

What do foxes eat?

Foxes are omnivorous – they eat meat and vegetation. A fox’s diet may consist of small animals such as lizards, voles, rats, mice, rabbits, and hares.

According to the Smithsonian Institution, they supplement their diet with birds, fruits, and bugs. If they have trouble finding food, they empty their waste bins. Foxes are very cunning creatures, most often these predators hide their prey under leaves or snow, stocking up for the future.

The fox always sneaks up to its prey very cunningly, can patiently wait for hours in an ambush near a hare hole, and when potential prey appears in sight, it also seizes it very deftly and with lightning speed with its teeth.

In addition, foxes are excellent craftsmen to confuse traces and evade persecution, sharply changing the direction of movement, probably thanks to these skills and habits, the status of “cunning” has been attached to the fox since ancient times.

How many cubs do foxes have?

Like their distant relatives, wolves, foxes are monogamous animals in which the mating season occurs at a certain period of the year. Its time depends on the type of fox, but, as a rule, it lasts from December to March. To create offspring and train them, the male and female foxes temporarily form a full-fledged pair.

Even before the start of the mating season, the female fox begins to search for a secluded hole in which her offspring will be born. The male helps in every possible way to improve the den, sometimes even catches fleas and other parasites on the body of a pregnant female.

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The pregnancy of a fox, depending on its species, lasts from 48 to 60 days, after which small puppies are born, in one litter there are from 4 to 16 babies, who, like kittens, are born blind and only later do their eyes erupt.

For a month and a half after birth, the babies are breastfed, only after that, when their first teeth begin to erupt, the mother fox gradually begins to tame them to meat food, and then to its prey.

To do this, the fox teaches them to hunt various small insects: beetles, lizards, frogs. After a few months, the cubs already dramatically increase in size, and a year later they leave their parents completely ready for independent life in the forest. Sexual maturity in foxes occurs in the second year of life.

How did foxes become endangered?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, most fox species are not endangered. The Red List includes the island gray fox, the Sechur fox and the Darwin fox, all of which are critically endangered species. It is estimated that there are less than 2,500 mature Darwin foxes in Chile. Domestic dog attacks and related diseases are major threats, the IUCN commented.

Interesting facts about foxes

– Foxes are usually monogamous. This means that they only have one partner for life. They are also helped in raising puppies by foxes from the pack. If females, as a rule, have one male, then a male fox may have several females. It is known that females having the same male live together in the same lair;

– Foxes can identify each other’s voices, just like humans. The red fox has 28 different sounds that they use to communicate. These vocalizations include yapping, growling, and howling;

– Fox hunting has been a popular recreational activity in England since the 1500s. Fox hunting without the help of dogs is still practiced in the UK and several other countries, including the US;

– In folklore, foxes are usually characterized as cunning creatures, sometimes with magical powers;

– In the wild, fox cubs can become prey to eagles. Coyotes, gray wolves, bears and mountain lions – adult foxes become victims of these predators;

– Foxes have excellent hearing. They can hear low frequency sounds and rodents digging underground.


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