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Fox Facts You’ll Never Forget

Find the best fox facts about these omnivorous mammals that range in size from small to medium.

Foxes are omnivorous, small to medium-sized mammals that belong to many genera in the Canidae family. Foxes have a long and bushy tail, a flattened skull, upright triangular ears, and a pointed, slightly upturned snout.

The word 'fox' is derived from the Proto-Germanic word 'fuhsaz' which means 'fox'. Foxes have smaller sizes as compared to other members of the Canidae family, such as wolves and jackals, but they can have a bigger size than other members of the family, such as a raccoon dog. Fur color, length, and density vary between fox species. The colors of their coats range from pearly white to black-and-white to black with white or grey flecks on the underside and the color and texture of a fox coat can change with the seasons. Fox pelts are richer and denser in the winter and lighter in the summer. Foxes molt once a year in April to shed their thick winter coat; the process starts at the feet, moves up the legs, and then down the back. The color of a fox coat may also vary as they grow older.

If you enjoy these fox facts, do go through our other articles on the fennec fox and the pademelon.

Fox Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a fox?

Foxes are small to medium-sized Canidae. A dog belongs to the same family and you might, despite the visual resemblance to a dog, be surprised at how much more similar they are to a cat than a dog.

What class of animal does a fox belong to?

Foxes belong to the class Mammalia.

How many foxes are there in the world?

It is not possible to give an exact estimate of the number of the entire species of foxes. The amount of the most popular fox, the red fox, is estimated to be around 225,000 (rural) and 33,000 (urban).

Where does a fox live?

Foxes live all around the globe in most of the habitats in every continent. Redfoxes are present in a variety of environments around the world, including woodland, grasslands, mountains, and deserts. The fox can also adapt to human environments such as farms, suburbs, and even big cities. Foxes are the world's most common land carnivore.

What is a fox's habitat?

Red fox populations in North America are descended from two genetic lineages that were separated nearly half a million years ago by advancing glaciers. Much of this continent, as well as Europe, Asia, and Africa's northernmost reaches, are home to the species. Certain foxes are found even in arctic regions, where they make dens and these species are called an arctic fox.

Who do foxes live with?

Foxes, unlike many other Canids, are not always pack animals. They prefer living in small family groups in dens, but some species (such as arctic foxes) have been known to live alone. They may also live alone in dense and bushy trees.

How long does a fox live?

In captivity, foxes have been known to live for 10 to 12 years, but in the wild, they only live for three years on average.

How do they reproduce?

The red fox breeds from late December to late March, with the majority of matings occurring in January and February. A vixen bears her annual litter in a grass-lined chamber of the den in March or April, or sometimes later. The litter size of foxes ranges from one to 11, with an average of six. Newborn red foxes are blind and have fine-textured grey fur. Foxes' pups weigh about 3.4 oz (96 g) and are covered in fine-textured grey fur. The pups' eyes open at around nine days of age. The young pups make their first journeys to the den entrance at 28-35 days, where they play with other pups as well as the remains of prey and other objects carried to the den entrance by the adult (these predators often relocate the young to a nearby den, sometimes splitting the litter between two dens). By the age of 12 weeks, the young pups have been weaned and are now accompanying their parents on foraging trips. The litter disperses in late summer and early autumn, with the males leaving first and going further afield. At 10 months, the pups reach sexual maturity but they may not breed until they are yearlings.

What is their conservation status?

Fox hunting is the practice of using trained foxhounds or other scent hounds to find, pursue, and, if found, hunt down a fox, usually a red fox. Fox hunting is a part of many traditions and the primary targets of the hunt are the red fox or the fennec fox. Despite the fact that fox hunting is considered to be a sport and foxes are sometimes slaughtered as they are deemed to be a nuisance animal, the red fox is listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, a status less critical than endangered.

Fox Fun Facts

What do foxes look like?

A fox is a small mammal with big ears and a long tail. Foxes are related to wolves, dogs, and jackals. The physique of a red fox is orange with a white underbelly and black thighs. A brush is the white tip of fox's tail, and a tag is the white tip of a red fox's tail. The fox has reddish-brown hair, a white chest, and a bushy tail with white tips. The fox also has pointed noses and ears.

Whiskers on the legs and face of foxes assist them in navigating.

How cute are they?

The fox species is definitely considered cute. From its extensive usage in fables and animation, the fox is considered to be one of the most adorable creatures.

How do they communicate?

Body language is one way that foxes interact. The wild fox uses posture, facial expressions, ears, wagging tails, and other body language techniques to communicate with other foxes. Although foxes lack the ability to communicate verbally, the fox does make a variety of vocal sounds. To find each other, a fox will cry loudly. They will also use a variety of barks and warning calls to convey their message. Cubs will also make a variety of calls in an attempt to get their mother's attention.

How big is a fox?

Red Foxes are generally about 90–105 cm (36–42 inches) long—about 35–40 cm (14–16 inches) of this being the tail—and stand about 40 cm tall at the shoulder.

How fast can a fox run?

Depending on the breed, foxes can sprint at speeds of 30 to 40 mph (48-64 kmph). The common red fox, for example, can run at a maximum speed of around 30 mph (48 kmph). Another example is the gray fox, which can reach speeds of up to 42 mph (68 kmph).

How much does a fox weigh?

The average adult Fox weighs 10-15 lb (5–7 kg), whereas the heaviest individual foxes will weigh up to 31 lb (14 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male foxes are called dogs or tods, while the female is called a vixen.

What would you call a baby fox?

Young foxes are known as cubs, pups, or kits, though the latter term should not be confused with a separate species known as kit foxes.

What do they eat?

Wild foxes are skilled hunters and predators who hunt and prey upon rabbits, rats, birds, frogs, and earthworms in addition to consuming carrion. But foxes aren't carnivores, they also eat berries and fruit, making them omnivores. Besides scavenging for food in trash cans, urban foxes often catch pigeons and rats.

Are they aggressive?

The wild fox often screams and does activities intended to cause physical injury (biting and scratching). Signs that the animals are fighting can be found in their body language (gaping, pouncing, erect ears and tail, and rolling around together) and can appear in both playful and violent encounters.

Would they make a good pet?

Whilst foxes are adorable, amusing, and cunning little escape artists, they are not kept as pets.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Foxes actually act more like cats than a dog!

Foxes make 40 different sounds.

Foxes have an impeccable hearing sense.

A skulk is what we call a group of foxes.

Gray foxes can climb trees that are straight up, they do not require leaning tress in order to climb trees.

Foxes might hunt or prey on animals for pleasure.

What are male and female foxes called?

Female foxes are known as vixens, while male foxes are known as puppies or tods.

What sound do foxes make?

The sound made by foxes is called a bark, yelp, or simper.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the Mexican free-tailed bat, or the northern short tailed shrew.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our fox coloring pages.

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