Foxes are any of the omnivorous, dog-like mammals belonging to the family Canidae. Characterized by a small- or medium-sized furry body, these animals can be easily distinguished by their flattened skull, a narrow snout, upright triangular ears, and bushy tail. They have black markings between their eyes and noses, while the color of their tail tip is different than the rest of their bodies.
List of Common Types of Fox Species
approximately 37 fox species (both surviving and extinct) that are divided into
six genera, Cerdocyon (crab-eating
foxes), Lycalopex (South American
foxes), Urocyon (Western Hemisphere
foxes), Otocyon (bat-eared foxes), Vulpes (true foxes), and the extinct Dusicyon. Here are the different types
of commonly existing fox species:
Size: Foxes are typically shorter than
its Canidae cousins, jackals, and wolves, but are larger than the Raccoon dogs.
The red fox, the largest fox species, measures 35-50 cm at the shoulders while
the smallest fennec fox stands at 20 cm.
Weight: Their weight varies depending on
the species. The red fox, being the heaviest, weighs between 4-9 kg while the
weight of the lightest fennec fox species is 0.7-1.6 kg.
Color: Their color ranges from black to
pearly white and spotted black with a gray or white underside. The texture and
color of their coat also vary with seasonal changes. The fur is much denser and
more abundant in the winter than in the summer months.
Teeth: As in other members of the Canidae
family, the fox’s jaw has 42 teeth in total with incisors = 3/3, canines = 1/1,
premolars = 4/4, and molars = 3/2. The carnassial and canine teeth are
conspicuous, like all carnivores.
Whiskers: They have black whiskers, with the
ones on the muzzle measuring 3.9-4.3 in while those on the head are relatively
shorter. Whiskers on their forelimbs have an average length of 1.6 in.
versatile and adaptable by nature, foxes are found across the world. The range
of distribution spans from the Arctic to Europe, Asia, North America, South
America, North Africa, and Australia. The most widespread species is the red
fox, which also has 47 recognized subspecies.
What kind of Habitats are they found in
in diverse habitats, including grasslands, forested areas, snow-clad mountains,
and deserts. They usually dig shallow burrows in which they live in small
How long do they live
In the wild,
the average lifespan of foxes is about one to five years. On the other hand,
captive foxes have been reported to live up to approximately ten years. The application
of fox control in semi-urban and urban settings causes most of the fox
population to survive up to a year or so.
What do they eat
They eat a
diverse variety of food, and their diet includes small mammals, reptiles, frogs,
birds, beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, crickets, fruits, and grasses. They
are also scavengers, feeding on carcasses and rotten meat.
stand and walk on the toes, for which they are called digitigrade animals.
all foxes live in packs, as some species like the Arctic fox are solitary.
store excess food for later consumption by hiding them from conspecifics,
typically under the snow, soil, or leaves.
typically pounce on their prey by crouching down in the terrain and then using
their hind legs to leap up and land with great force on the targeted animal.
use a set of vocalizations for communicating with members of the same pack. These
sounds include whining, yelping, high-pitched explosive howling, sharp barking,
growling, and a warning bark.
inhabiting semi-urban and rural environments often attack small livestock and
domestic fowl. For this reason, they are considered nuisance creatures or
species, such as the fennec fox has short fur that helps keep their body cool
while some like the Arctic fox has an insulating, dense fur to keep the body
warm. Thus, the coat is useful for maintaining constant body temperature.
lower molar and upper premolar are specially designed to cut and tear flesh
while the canines are large and sharp enough to catch and grip the prey.
have an excellent sense of hearing. They are sensitive to low-frequency sounds
and the soft rustling noises made by prey deep in their burrows.
of their vertical pupils, they have an outstanding vision that helps them with
How do they Reproduce and Mate
in heat for about 1-6 days, with their reproductive cycle lasting for 12 months.
As with other canids, foxes release the ova during estrus. Sperm production in
males starts from August-September, and it reaches its peak during
ovum is fertilized, the female enters her gestation period that lasts for 52-53
days. Although the litter size varies depending on the species, they typically give
birth to four or five babies in a litter on average.
What do the Baby Fox look like
babies are born, they have a fuzzy appearance due to their soft first coat. Their
pupils are of striking blue shade while their ears are small and floppy.
species like Darwin’s fox and Island fox are considered endangered and
near-threatened respectively in their native environment due to excessive
hunting for pelts and habitat loss. Researchers and conservationists have removed
healthy breeding pairs from the wild population and bred them in captivity so
that they could have enough healthy foxes to set free into the wild.
1. Are foxes canines or felines?
canines or canids, which along with jackals, wolves, and domestic dogs, belong
to the Canidae family.