Red Fox By: Alexis Gillum

Scientific Name

  • Vulpes Vulpes

Range

  • The red fox (Vulpes vulpes), largest of the true foxes, has the greatest geographic range of all members of the Carnivora family, being present across the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, North America and Eurasia.

diet

  • The red fox eats a wide variety of foods. It is an omnivore and its diet includes fruits, berries and grasses. It also eats birds and small mammals like squirrels, rabbits and mice. A large part of the red fox's diet is made up invertebrates like crickets, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles and crayfish.

Physical DESCRIPTION

  • Red foxes are generally about 36–42 inches long (about 14–16 inches of this being tail), stand about 40 cm at the shoulder, and weigh about 10–15 pounds. The red fox has a coat of long guard hairs, soft, fine underfur that is typically a rich reddish brown, often a white-tipped tail, and black ears and legs. Its colour, however, is variable. In North America black and silver coats are found, with a variable amount of white or white-banded hair occurring in a black coat, and these animals are sometimes called silver foxes. A form called the cross, or brant, fox is yellowish brown with a black cross extending between the shoulders and down the back.

Breeding info

  • In winter, foxes meet to mate. The vixen (female) typically gives birth to a litter of 2 to 12 pups. At birth, red foxes are actually brown or gray. A new red coat usually grows in by the end of the first month, but some red foxes are golden, reddish-brown, silver, or even black. Both parents care for their young through the summer before they are able to strike out on their own in the fall.

Special behavior

  • When lactating, the vixen’s eight teats are obvious, and her belly fur is brick red (it’s normally white or grey).

Weird info

  • You can often hear the mating calls, which is a sharp, high-pitched shrieking/screaming noise, which can sound quite terrifying.

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