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Fox Fun Facts!

October 15, 2015

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They've got a reputation in folklore for being sneaky and sly, but there's more to these light-footed hunters than you may know!

The Basics

  • Foxes are mammals.
  • The scientific name for red foxes is Vulpes vulpes.
  • They are carnivores who eat earthworms, rabbits, rodents, and insects.
  • They can be found in all of the Northern Hemisphere: the Arctic Circle, North Africa, Central America and the Steppes of Central Asia.
  • They have a varied habitat.
  • Male foxes are called dogs, and females are called vixens.
  • Many varieties are nocturnal.

Foxes are found all across the Northern HemisphereFoxes are found all across the Northern Hemisphere
 

Out of Sight

A fox home is called a den, and they usually burrow underground to create their den or sometimes make an above ground dwelling in a hollow. Sneaking out of sight is part of why they have a reputation for being sly!

Foxes burrow underground or find hollows for their densFoxes burrow underground or find hollows for their dens
 

Foxes are solitary hunters, and they've been known to be a nuisance for gardeners and farmers. Their sneaky reputation might be earned, they've been known to break into poultry farms and run off with the chickens and other small livestock. They often hunt at night, adding to the stories that they are cunning.

Foxes used to be hunted by humans with the help of dogs, there are records of this happening in England as far back as the 16th century, but many places have made this illegal now.

Two red fox cubsTwo red fox cubs
 

Did You Know

  • They catch rodents with a high pounce, which is one of the first hunting techniques fox cubs learn.
  • Many cities have urban foxes, but this can mean trouble for pets since they are carnivores.
  • In Western and Persian folklore they are known as a symbol of trickery, mischief and cunning.
  • Some can climb trees.
  • They have whiskers on their legs as well as around their face to help them find their way.
  • Foxes have great night vision, which is why they hunt when it's dark.
  • They belong to the dog family, meaning they are related to: wolves, coyotes, and raccoons.
  • Their name comes from old English meaning "Thick haired tail."
  • There are many different types of foxes, red foxes are the most common.
  • They are found on every continent except Antarctica.
Have Your Say

What do you think of foxes? Let us know in the comments section below!