30 Interesting Facts About Foxes

  1. Foxes are mammals that belong to the Canidae family. Other members of this family are dogs, wolves, jackals, etc.
  2. There are 12 species of true foxes: red fox, Arctic fox, fennec fox, etc. A few other related animals of the dog family are also called foxes. These are gray fox, bat-eared fox, crab-eating fox, Darwin’s fox, and others.
  3. Foxes are present on every continent except Antarctica. They live in various habitats, including forests, mountains, grasslands, icecap regions, and deserts.
  4. Researchers have found a 16,500-year-old cemetery in Jordan that contains the remains of a man and his pet fox. It is the earliest known example of interaction between humans and animals. It is 4,000 years earlier than the earliest known burial site of humans and dogs. (Source)
  5. Foxes use the earth’s magnetic field to catch prey. The success rate of their hunting leap is 73% in the northeast direction and 60% in the opposite direction. It is a mere 18% in any other direction. The animal uses the same successful direction regardless of the cloud cover, wind direction, time of day, and season of the year. (Source)
  6. Foxes are depicted in folklore in many cultures around the world. These animals are presented as wise, cunning, and with magical traits in these folklore. (Source)   
  7. Foxes are smaller than most Canidae members, including dogs, wolves, and jackals. Fennec fox is the smallest among foxes.
  8. Red foxes are the most common species of foxes on earth. They have the largest natural distribution among mammals.
  9. The gray fox is one of the only two animals that belong to the Canidae family, along with raccoon dogs, that can climb trees. Gray foxes can climb trees like cats. They can do so due to their flexible wrists and long-curved claws. These mammals can take shelter, hunt, and even drag heavy objects into trees. (Source)
  10. Several species of foxes change fur color in different seasons or with age. Red and arctic foxes change the color of their coat seasonally by shedding the fur just before the summer months. Few other species of fox change their fur color as they grow by molting.
  11. Foxes are omnivores that commonly eat rabbits, voles, frogsbirds, insects, vegetables, seeds, and fruits.
  12. Foxes mate during the winter season and breed in spring. Newborns are raised by both males and females and assisted by older cubs.
  13. Foxes store excess food for later consumption. They store this food in a den or other places dug up by other animals and consume it in a day or two.
  14. Foxes use different voices for communication. They bark to communicate with other foxes, while the high-pitched howl is a mating sound.
  15. In 1832, Charles Darwin discovered a species of the fox on Chile’s Chiloe Island. It was officially accepted as a new fox species in 1837 and named Darwin’s Fox. (Source)
    A Darwin's fox
    Darwin's Fox is the only endangered fox species 

  16. Few fox species are present on the IUCN Red List. However, Darwin’s Fox is the only endangered species. 
  17. Foxes have several predators in their habitats due to their small size. The main predators are coyotes, mountain lions, gray wolves, bears, owls, and eagles.
  18. Foxes can live for 6 to 7 years in the wild. Their lifespan in captivity is relatively longer up to 13 years or more due to absence of enemies.
  19. The tradition of foxhunting began in England in the 15th Century. This cruel sport reached its height of popularity before World War 1. It is also practiced in a few parts of the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. (Source)   
  20. The red fox was introduced into Australia in 1870. It has become an invasive species due to its hunting of native wildlife and livestock. It can also transmit diseases to humans and pets. (Source)
  21. Foxes can be infected by rabies. A program was conducted in Europe between 1978 and 2010 to vaccinate foxes through the bait. This ORV (oral rabies vaccination) program in 24 countries eliminated fox rabies from Western and Central Europe. (Source)
  22. Fox dig burrows underground, known as dens. They use these dens to sleep, protect their cubs, and store food. These dens have several exits for escape in case a predator approaches.
  23. Foxes can move their ears independently. Their hearing frequency range is from 300Hz to 15 kHz.
  24. The maximum speed for various fox species is from 30 to 40 mph. Red foxes can run at 30 mph, while the maximum speed for grey foxes is 42 mph. This speed assist them during hunting and to avoid predators. (Source)
  25. Despite being a member of the dog family, foxes have many similarities to cats. Both have an identical shape of eyes that can see well in dark and daylight. They have similar hunting habits, postures, whiskers for navigation, and paws.
  26. Arctic foxes do not feel chill even in the extreme cold, thanks to their fur. They only start shivering at -70 C. (Source)
  27. Bat-eared fox, which lives in eastern and southern Africa, hears low-frequency sounds of insects, like termites and dung beetles. Apart from insects, the bat-eared fox also eats spiders, scorpions, and rodents. (Source)
  28. Foxes secrete a smelly odor through scent glands. Like urine, they also use this scent to mark their territory. (Source)
  29. A 3-month old fox cub survived for two weeks after being caught in a wire trap. It was due to its mother, who brought food for him daily during this period. (Source)
  30. Foxes sometimes occupy the unused part of a badger’s sett as their den. Sometimes, even rabbits share the same sett with badgers and foxes. (Source)

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