Types Of Foxes
There are many types of foxes. There are we going to acknowledge some of them, we will discuss about it.
Gray Fox, Island Fox, Bat-eared Fox, Culpeo Fox, Darwin’s Fox, South American Gray Fox, Pampas Fox
Sechuran Fox, Hoary Fox, Crab-eating Fox, Simien Fox, Bengal Fox, Blanford’s Fox, Cape Fox, Corsac Fox
Tibetan Sand Fox, Arctic Fox, Kit Fox, Pale Fox, Ruppell’s Fox, Swift Fox, Red Fox, Fennec Fox.
Here we are going to talk about some of the foxes.
CANIDAE, The scientific name of the red fox is Vulpes Vulpes. Usually, red foxes are known as common foxes all over the world. Red foxes have the largest distribution of nature of the world.
Classification Characteristics of Red Foxes
The Red Fox is an animal of Chordata Phylum and Mammalia class. It is placed under the class Mammalia for the following characteristics.
The entire body of the red fox is covered with hair.
Red foxes have hair in their eyes.
The female red foxes have active mammary glands.
The lower jaws of the fox are structured with a single bond.
Red foxes have heterodont, diphyodont, and thecodont types teeth.
The Etymology of Red Fox
The word fox came from Old English Language, which is derived from photo-Germanic ‘fuhsaz’. This word means Foks in West Frisian. Vos in Dutch, Fuchs in German. All these words mean a mammal with a hairy body, short height, and wild behavior. The name red fox was given because most of them are red. Other colours of foxes are also available. Red foxes are also known as common foxes.
Body Structured of Red Fox
Red foxes are the largest animal in their categories. Red foxes body length is 45-90 cm. Their tail is almost more than half of their body length. Red foxes are lightweight. Red foxes average weight is 2.2-14 kgs. Female foxes are lightweight compare to the male foxes.
Red foxes have long canine teeth for eating flesh. Red foxes have binocular vision. They have oval and vertically oriented pupils. Red foxes have other colors also like grey amber, blackish brown, silver, platinum, Samson etc.
Food habit of Red Foxes
Red foxes are omnivorous animals and they have a highly varied diet. Red foxes generally hunt small mammals up to 3.5 Kgs. Red foxes their primary preys are mice, voles, ground squirrels, hamsters, gerbils, pocket gophers etc. The secondary preys are different types of birds, leporids, raccoons, porcupines, opossums, reptiles, insects etc. Red foxes daily needs 500 gm of foods. They also eat plants and food. Among fruits they mostly eat blueberries, blackberries, cherries, raspberries, apples.
Behavior of Red Foxes
Red foxes are wild animals. They live in a family groups and share their hunting with their groups. Red foxes have low hunting pressure because of this they hunt in a range with their subordinates. Mostly foxes hunt within the range of 8 foxes. These group of foxes are called subordinates and usually foxes do the hunting with their upto 8 subordinates.
Ecology of Red Foxes
Red foxes are the most dominant foxes in their species. All other species cannot get their right over food in front of red foxes that how much red foxes are dominant between their other species.
Red foxes share their living space with golden jackals.
Interesting Facts about Red Foxes
Red foxes use underground burrow for their den.
During breeding season red foxes make mating calls and use sharp and high pitched screaming noises.
Red foxes are born blind and deaf.
Red foxes can climb trees and settle on low branches.
Primarily Solitary Animals (Arctic Foxes)
The Arctic fox (Vulpes Lagopus), also known the White Fox, Polar fox, or Snow fox, is small fox that belongs to the family of Canidae. Native to the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and common throughout.
They can easily adopt the cold environments.
The arctic fox preys on many small creatures such as lemmings, voles, ringed seal pups, fish, waterfowl, and seabirds. They also eat carrion, berries, seaweed, and insects and other small invertebrates. Arctic fox from monogamous pairs during the breeding season and they stay together during this season.
Arctic foxes endure the temperature between 50 to 100 degree C.
Arctic fox curls up tightly tucking it’s legs and head under it’s body and behind its funny tall to prevent them from the losing heat. Arctic foxes are active year round and do not hibernate.
They build their fat reserves in the season of autumn.
Arctic fox generally eat the small animal they can find, including femmings, voles, other rodentsm hares, birds, eggs, fish, and carrion.
When their is high seasonal abundance of the migrating birds, they are source of the arctic fox at that time.
On the coast of Iceland and other islands, they rely on the predominantly of birds. During the month April and May they rely on the ringed seal.
Interesting Facts about Arctic Foxes
Arctic foxes are (Vulpes Lagopus) are highly well adapted to the harsh, frigid temperatures of the Arctic.
Arctic foxes have the warmest pelt of any animal found in the Arctic, enduring temperatures as low as 70 degree Celsius.
They are the member of the canidae family of animals.
They are primarily solitary animals living on the Arctic tundra and pack ice.
Arctic Foxes do not hibernate and their fur changes colours with the seasons.
Arctic foxes are the smallest wild canid found in Canada.
Behavior of the Foxes
Foxes behavior depend on the seasons, with whom they are interacting, how they behave in daytime and night time. Foxes are commonly known as solitary creatures. They can be friendly as well. They communicate with their tales.
Foxes behavior in Winters
Foxes are mostly live in the northern hemisphere, the weather of hemisphere is mostly cold. Arctic foxes and Red foxes are mostly build for the winter season. They have heavy fur coats, and they have fur on their footpads.
Foxes use their tail to curl up and stay warm during the season of winter.
Foxes behavior in Spring
Spring is the season when mostly kits (baby foxes) are born. It’s not uncommon to see foxes in daytime during this season. In the time of spring foxes teach their kids how to eat, how to fend for themselves, and how to survive.
Parents go more for hunt during this season in daytime. Male foxes mostly do the hunting and female foxes stay in their den to protect the kits. Kits usually stay in the den for a month, before they venture out.
Female foxes will start hunting at the end of this season.
Foxes Behavior with Humans
Urban fox has become a normal thing in many places. We can see them to interact with the people on large scale. Foxes are usually very cautious and keep to themselves as they are the solitary creatures.
Knowing that now a days foxes are interacting more with the humans, the question arise there is that Is it safe for humans to interact with the foxes?
For most of the part I don’t think so they are going to harm the human. If we are going to interact with the wild animals I suggest that do it for the distance, where you can observe them, without coming into the direct contact.
Pet Fox Behavior
Pet foxes behavior are different from the wild foxes. Pet foxes have a fixed schedule, like they tend to take on the schedules of their caretakers, sleeping the same hours and eating when they are fed.
Most pet foxes are rescued by the wildlife rehabilitators, or saved from fur farms.
Fennec foxes have been brought to America from Africa. Foxes need special attention for their diets, and because they are high energy animals. Pet foxes and foxes in captivity need outside enclosures to run and to get exercise.
Abnormal Foxes Behavior
Fox can behave unusual to their usual behavior , like they can hunt in daytime rather than night time. They can feed from the trash rather then eating by hunting, these are the abnormal behavior foxes do.
Mostly urban foxes can be seen to use these behaviors. They usually do this so they can survive in the areas where naturally territory has been replaced by the human developments.
Nutrition Of Foxes
Foxes, as opportunistic omnivores, exhibit varied nutritional needs throughout their life stages. From birth to adulthood, their diet undergoes significant changes to support growth, development, and survival in their natural environment.
- Early Life (Pups): Fox pups are born blind and rely solely on their mother’s milk for sustenance during the first 3-4 weeks. Fox milk is rich in fat, protein, and essential nutrients, crucial for rapid growth and building a robust immune system. As they mature, the mother may introduce regurgitated prey to supplement their diet.
- Weaning Phase: After about 4-6 weeks, the pups start transitioning to solid food as they are weaned from their mother’s milk. Initially, their diet consists of partially digested food brought by adult foxes to the den. This aids in the pups’ acclimation to solid food and the development of their hunting skills.
- Juvenile Stage: As young foxes grow older, they become more independent and start hunting for their food. Their diet mainly includes small mammals, birds, insects, fruits, and berries. A balanced diet is vital during this period to ensure proper skeletal and muscular development.
- Adulthood: Adult foxes have established their hunting prowess and become proficient at catching a wide range of prey. Their diet is diverse and adaptable, depending on the availability of food in their habitat. Small mammals, birds, rabbits, and fruits remain staple components, while they may occasionally scavenge or consume carrion to supplement their meals.
- Reproduction and Mating Season: During the breeding season, foxes require additional energy and nutrients to support their reproductive efforts. They might consume larger quantities of food and prioritize high-calorie prey to sustain themselves and their offspring.
- Winter Survival: In colder regions, where food can be scarce, foxes adapt their diet to include more scavenged food, leftovers from other predators, and potentially even plant matter to survive the harsh conditions.
Throughout their lives, foxes display remarkable dietary flexibility, enabling them to adapt to changing environments and food availability. Their ability to switch between animal-based and plant-based foods showcases their adaptability as opportunistic omnivores. However, despite their resilience, foxes face various challenges, including habitat loss and changes in food availability due to human activities, making it essential to protect their natural habitats to ensure their continued survival
Interesting facts about Foxes
- Species Diversity: There are about 37 species of foxes found worldwide, belonging to the Canidae family.
- Adaptability: Foxes are incredibly adaptable animals, inhabiting diverse environments, from forests and deserts to urban areas.
- Senses: Foxes have excellent senses of hearing and smell, enabling them to locate prey and avoid predators efficiently.
- Dietary Versatility: As opportunistic omnivores, foxes eat a wide variety of foods, including small mammals, birds, insects, fruits, and even human leftovers.
- Vocalizations: Foxes communicate through a range of vocalizations, including barks, screams, howls, and chirps, which they use for social interactions and territory marking.
- Fabled Tricksters: Foxes are often associated with intelligence and cunning in various cultures and folklore, often portrayed as clever tricksters.
- Nocturnal Habits: Many fox species are primarily nocturnal, hunting and being active during the nighttime.
- Excellent Jumpers: Red foxes are excellent jumpers and can leap up to three times their height.
- Speedy Runners: Foxes are swift runners, capable of reaching speeds of up to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).
- Pouncing Technique: Foxes use a pouncing technique to catch prey hidden in the snow, which is known as “mousing.”
- Family Units: Foxes are often solitary animals, but some species, like the red fox, form small family units consisting of a mated pair and their offspring.
- Scent Marking: Foxes use scent marking to communicate with other individuals, leaving their distinct smell on territories and objects.
- Remarkable Hearing: Arctic foxes have extremely sensitive hearing, allowing them to locate small prey beneath the snow.
- Seasonal Color Change: Some fox species, such as the Arctic fox, experience a seasonal change in their fur color, adapting to the changing environment.
- Incredible Jumpers: Fennec foxes, the smallest fox species, have oversized ears that help regulate body temperature and aid in hearing. They are also exceptional jumpers, enabling them to escape from predators and reach food sources.
These fascinating facts highlight the diversity and intriguing characteristics of foxes, making them captivating and remarkable creatures in the animal kingdom.