Animal Awareness Tip: Red Fox (Vulpus vulpus)

Maideline Sanchez

Cats and dogs are two different species, but if you put them together they will make up the characteristics of a fox. Red foxes have dog-like ears and even tails, as well as diamond-shaped pupils similar to a cat. They have an acute sense of hearing but poor vision. Red foxes can adapt to almost any environment and are noted for their cleverness in rationing their resources. During a time when food is plentiful, Vulpus vulpus will eat at least half their body weight and save the rest in holes underground.

This will ensure that they will still have some other sources of food just in case another scavenger comes along to steal a stored meal. The location of red foxes range from Canada to the United States, Europe, and most of Asia.

Red foxes can be as long as 57 inches from head to tail. Relative to a six-foot tall human, foxes reach just above the knee when standing in all fours. Their fur is commonly rusty red with black on the tail, ears, and legs, and white on their inner ears, tip of the tail, and belly. They are normally classified as carnivores when in actuality they are considered omnivores due to their diet. When necessary they may eat crayfish, mollusks, insects, and even earthworms; they may even consume fruits such as apples, blackberries, and plums. Red foxes can be very territorial with their meal unless it is mating time, at which point they will share with the females (“vixens”). The Estrous cycle for a female can span from one to six days, and ovulation can be spontaneous. From the time of copulation to labor, a male brings food to the female. Afterwards, the male (“dog”) leaves her alone in the den. Byy the time they are two weeks old, they will open their eyes and begin exploration outside. During the fall season, the young foxes will disperse and claim their own territory. Once they reach sexual maturity at the age of ten months, they will live for approximately three years (12 years in captivity).

Did You Know?

A fox’s hearing is so sharp that they may hear a watch ticking 40 yards away.

Arctic foxes use this great sense of hearing to find their prey hidden under the snow several feet down.