Foxes, though very common, are one of the coolest and cutest animals found all over the planet.
These facts about foxes for kids will definitely shock you and give you a new appreciation for these furry little pals. From fox behavior and biology, to the fox in culture and even facts about red foxes we've got everything you need to know about these animals.
Basic Fox Facts And Information
We'll start our list with these basic facts about the fox for kids to get you ready for your fantastic fox journey.
1. Foxes are part of the Canidae family, which is the same family as dogs, wolves and jackals.
2. A female fox is called a 'vixen'.
3. A male fox is called a 'dog fox' or a 'tod'.
4. Fox babies are called 'pups' 'kits' or 'cubs'.
5. A 'skulk' or a 'leash' are the terms for a group of foxes.
6. While foxes can live for up to 14 years, in the wild they usually only live for a few years.
Facts About Fox Biology
The fox, though very small, has some pretty cool biological features that will definitely surprise your kids.
7. Foxes might seem quite large from a distance, but they are actually pretty small.
8. A male fox's head is usually 26 to 28 inches while a female's is usually 24 to 26 inches.
9. Foxes' tails make up a third of their whole body length. The tail of a male fox is 15 to 17 inches long, while a female's is 14 to 16 inches. The tail of a red fox makes up half their body length.
10. While we see our world mainly through sight, the main senses for a fox are hearing and smell.
11. Foxes have incredible hearing. They use their hearing to catch insects and small mammals by pouncing from where the smell is.
12. Foxes are able to smell food even when it is buried underground. Their sense of smell is so strong!
13. Foxes have 28 different calls that they use to talk to each other.
14. Foxes also have great eyesight, and their pupil shape allows them to see in very dim light.
15. These animals even have whiskers on their legs that help them navigate in the dark.
16. Foxes can't see when they are born and baby foxes eyes don't open until nine days after they are born.
17. Foxes can run up to speeds of 30 miles an hour!
18. Foxes are medium sized canids, usually between seven and 15 pounds, with pointy noses, thin bodies and bushy tails.
19. Foxes have babies once a year. Most foxes have around six babies in one litter, but it can be anywhere from one to 11. Late winter and early spring are usually when red foxes will breed. When the cubs are born, the foxes will keep them in the den for around eight weeks.
Facts About Fox Behaviours
While foxes are super cute, they certainly don't make good pets. So, it's best to admire their cool and quirky behaviours from a distance.
20. Foxes are nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active during the night, just like cats.
21. They are also solitary animals, meaning they sleep and hunt alone and only stay in packs when they are raising their cubs.
22. This animal uses the earth's magnetic fields to find prey as it helps them judge distance and direction when hunting.
23. Scientists believe that foxes may have had relationships with humans before dogs did. There are 16,500 year old remains of a man and his pet fox in Jordan, which is 4000 years older than any dog and human remains we have found that have been buried together.
24. Foxes are very playful animals. They have been found to play with foxes, other animals and even humans. They sometimes even steal balls from golf courses and backyards to play with.
25. One fun fact about red foxes is that they choose to mate with one other red fox for their whole life. They also grin when they are afraid.
26. Foxes communicate with different facial expressions and postures just like dogs. They wag their tails when they are happy and also act aggressively to foxes that they do not know.
27. While foxes are usually pretty silent, they do still make a lot of sounds, including barking cubs, warning calls and mating calls.
28. Foxes use their urine and poop to mark their territory. A female fox even uses their poop to signal that they are ready to mate. Foxes also use scent-marking to communicate with other animals that this is their land.
What Different Kinds Of Foxes Are There?
From facts about the arctic fox to common red fox facts for kids, all the types of foxes you need to know about are detailed here. There are many fox species that are adorable and also pretty cool to learn about.
29. While there are 37 different types of foxes, only 12 are considered to be "true" foxes of the Vulpes genus.
30. The 12 true foxes are the Red fox, Fennec fox, Pale fox, Cape fox, Ruppell's fox, Tibetan sand fox, Arctic fox, Bengal fox, Blanford’s fox, Corsac fox, Kit fox and the Swift fox.
31. The most common fox is the red fox of which there are more than 280 types in the Carnivora order.
32. Red foxes are listed in the top 100 most invasive species in the world and you can even find them in Australia.
33. The Fennec fox is the smallest fox and weighs less than three pounds. They are one of the cutest foxes and are around the same size as a kitten, but with very big ears. The ears help them hear prey and even release body heat. They also have fur covered paws that work almost like shoes, so they can walk on the hot sand.
34. Arctic foxes don't get cold until it reaches -94°F. Arctic foxes are found across the arctic, including Europe, Asia, North America, Greenland, and Iceland. The white coat of the arctic fox helps protect them against predators as they can blend in with the snow. Their coats also change with the seasons, becoming brown so they can hide in rocks without being seen.
35. Bat-eared foxes are also famous for their big, five inch long ears. Like the Fennec fox, they are used to help them find insects, just like bats. Their official name is Otocyon megalotis and in Greek, this translates to "dog with big ears".
36. Charles Darwin found a fox in South America and named it Darwin's fox. These gray foxes are now an endangered species and can only be found in two places in Chile. The biggest threats to these foxes are domestic dogs carrying diseases.
37. The Sierra Nevada red fox (also known as the cross fox), is the rarest fox in the world and is close to extinction. It is believed that there are only about 50 left across North America, as the majority were hunted for their bright orange and black coats.
38. The black fox (also known as the silver fox) is a form of red fox, even though they have gray fur!
Where Do Foxes Live And What Do They Eat?
From wild foxes living in forests to foxes that might be living in your own neighborhood, this is all the information you need to know about fox habitats and fox diets.
39. Fox habitats are called 'dens' or 'earths'.
40. Foxes usually build their dens in forests by digging underground burrows that they can live in and that provide a cool space to sleep.
41. In urban areas, dens are usually found in bushes or under sheds and sometimes even under tree roots and railway embankments.
42. Unlike many animals, foxes are one of few animals that easily adapt to human impacts on their environment.
43. Foxes can be found in most of the Northern Hemisphere, all the way from North America to Europe, and Asia. The highest northern point you will find foxes at is the Arctic circle, and the lowest southern points are the Eurasian Steppes, Central America and North Africa.
44. Canids (foxes, dogs, wolves and jackals) are usually carnivores, but they can also adapt to whatever their surroundings provide to them. Most of a fox's diet is made up of meat, but they do eat other foods too. This is why foxes are able to survive all the way from deserts to the arctic.
47. Foxes hunt the same way cats do, by following their prey and pouncing on them.
45. While foxes are classified in the Carnivora order, they aren't actually carnivores. Foxes are omnivores, meaning they eat meat and plants.
46. Foxes adapt quite well to their surroundings and will eat pretty much anything. From worms, berries and rabbits, spiders, lizards, rats and anything else you serve them up; foxes will dig into anything! Foxes also hide food in their dens so they can snack on it later.
What Do Foxes Represent In Culture?
Foxes are seen throughout different cultures across the globe. In fairy tales and films, they represent many different things.
51. Foxes are part of many cultural tales, for example there is a nine-tail fox in Aesop's 'The Fox And The Crow'. In Finland, it was believed that the Northern lights were made by foxes running their tails through the snow and flicking it into the sky. This is where the phrase "fox fires" comes from.
48. 'The Little Prince' is one of the most well known stories that features a fox. In this story, the fox teaches the Little Prince many valuable lessons.
49. Other fox adaptations for kids include 'Fantastic Mr Fox', 'Zootopia', 'The Fox And The Hound' and Disney's 'Robin Hood'.
50. Foxes have a reputation of being very cunning, which we see in phrases like "sly as a fox."
51. The most famous song about a fox is 'What Does the Fox Say?' by Ylvis.
52. There is a constellation called Vulpecula which translates to "little fox".
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for fox facts, then why not take a look at these Bulldogs Facts, or red squirrel facts too?
Hannah is a lover of all things fitness, she is a qualified personal trainer and is currently training to be a yoga instructor. She is also knowledgeable about mindfulness and meditation and is passionate about helping people find their best selves. Hannah has travelled extensively and has spent the last four years working and living in many different countries across Asia and the Americas and loves writing about her travels. At any moment you might catch her running for a plane or a PB!