Fox Animal Information
A fox is a carnivorous mammal, related to the dog family. They have red, brown, black, silver or grey coats. They are found in most parts of the world, especially in the northern hemisphere. They are nocturnal mammals, which mean, they stay awake at night for hunting. A fox is generally smaller in size compared with other members of the dog family like wolves, jackals and domestic dogs. Fox animal information will help us know a few facts about the life of a fox.
Description and appearance: They are small, slender mammals with pointy nose. They have large erect ears with a bushy tail. The claws are strong and non-retractable. It has beautiful shiny fur. Legs have black paws. Their body length is about 100 to 112 cm, including the tail. They have very good sense of smell and hearing. There are around 12 different species of foxes found across the world. This includes the urban fox or the red fox, the white arctic fox, the light colored sand fox and the tiny fennec fox.
Habitat: They live in burrows dug by other animals. They might also dig a tunnel of their own in loose soil. Their shelters can have more than one entrance. The dens are lined with leaves and grass. A family might have more than one den.
Diet: Foxes largely feed on invertebrates. However they also eat rodents, rabbits, and other small mammals such as amphibians, snakes fish, birds, eggs, beetles and insects. They consume about 1 kg of food every day. Generally they bury excess food under leaves, snow or soil, to consume it later.
Reproduction: A female fox, also known as vixen, can give birth to a maximum of 10 pups. Generally, four to five pups are born. They are born during spring. The male fox brings food to the vixen, so that she can stay with the pups. The pups start eating meat in a months' time. The family stays together until fall. The young ones become independent by winter. Most of them die before they are a year old.
Enemies and protection: Foxes are trapped for their beautiful fur. They are also hunted by wolves, lynxes, bobcats, cougars and coyotes. To avoid hunters that follow the foxes' scent, they usually run along water or logs. They have a very sharp bark, to warn fellow foxes. Foxes, which live near humans, are mostly hit by cars. The average life span of a fox is five years in the wild. Some might live over ten years. In Europe, foxes are a victim of 'fox hunting', which is a sport that involves humans, horses and dogs to hunt the foxes. Although fox-hunting in this manner is now illegal, it is still allowed if dogs are not included in the sport.
Some facts about foxes:
- A group of foxes is called a "skulk"
- Foxes can carry a disease called rabies
- There are various stories written on foxes' cleverness and trickery
Although foxes are wild animals, the Russian silver fox is domesticated. Research states that they show dog like behavior: become friendly with humans, put their ears down and wag their tails when they are happy!