An Earth of Foxes

Incredible facts about one of the most widespread mammals on the planet.
An Earth of Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) Red foxes are one of the most widespread and adaptable mammals on the planet. In the last century they’re become our neighbours too! They moved into urban areas in Europe, Australia, and North America. Red foxes are the most ‘cat-like’ of the canines. They have long whiskers on their face, and short whiskers on their legs. This helps them sense their environment. Unlike other canines, they also have semi-retractile claws. Red Foxes have incredible night vision. They have vertical pupils, and a reflective layer at the back of their retina, allowing them to see much better in the dark. The cover of night gives them an incredible hunting advantage. Red foxes are most active at night. Red Foxes aren’t always red. Some foxes can have brown, black, and even silver coats! These red foxes are known as Cross Foxes, or Silver Foxes, and a single litter can have both red and dark coloured pups. The Red Fox’s sense of hearing is incredible. Their large, pointy ears are capable of hearing a watch ticking from 35 metres away! This ability helps them to locate small prey while hunting, even if that prey is hidden beneath deep snow. Red Foxes are excellent planners. Even if they are full, they will keep hunting, and store the extra prey they catch somewhere safe, so they can eat it later when prey may not be so easy to find. Red foxes live in groups while raising their young: called a ‘Skulk’ or an “Earth of foxes” A Fox’s tail makes up a third of the animal’s total length. It is thick and strong, and aids in balance, much like a cat’s. The Fox will also uses it to cover itself in the cold, or as a method of communication with other foxes. The tip of a red foxes tail is always white. Red foxes are very fast. They can run 50 km/hour. Red foxes are omnivores. They eat mostly meat but do also eat vegetation. The male is called a dog and the female is called a vixen.

For more watch Fox Tales.

Available on CBC Gem

Fox Tales

Nature of Things