FOXES ARE SOLITARY
Foxes are part of the Canidae family, which means they're related to wolves, jackals, and dogs. They're medium-sized, between 7 and 15 pounds, with pointy faces, lithe frames, and bushy tails. But unlike their relatives, foxes are not pack animals. When raising their young, they live in small families in underground burrows. Otherwise, they hunt and sleep alone.
THE RED FOX IS THE MOST COMMON
The Red fox is the most commonly found species of foxes; it is found all over the world. Foxes can be found in almost every kind of habitat. They also show an ability to adapt to the presence of humans.
FOXES HAVE A LOT IN COMMON WITH CATS
Like the cat, the fox is most active after the sun goes down. In fact, it has vertically oriented pupils that allow it to see in dim light. It even hunts in a similar manner to a cat, by stalking and pouncing on its prey. The fox also has sensitive whiskers and spines on its tongue. It walks on its toes, which accounts for its elegant, cat-like tread. And foxes are the only member of the dog family that can climb trees—gray foxes have claws that allow them to climb and descend vertical trees quickly. Some foxes even sleep in trees—just like cats.
FOXES USE THE EARTH'S MAGNETIC FIELD
Like a guided missile, the fox harnesses the earth's magnetic field to hunt. Other animals, like birds, sharks, and turtles, have this "magnetic sense," but the fox is the first one we've discovered that uses it to catch prey. According to New Scientist, the fox can see the earth's magnetic field as a "ring of shadow" on its eyes that darkens as it heads towards magnetic north. When the shadow and the sound the prey is making line up, it's time to pounce.
THEY ARE GOOD PARENTS
Foxes reproduce once a year. Litters range from one to 11 pups (the average is six), which are born blind and don't open their eyes until nine days after birth. During that time, they stay with the vixen (female) in the den while the dog (male) brings them food. They live with their parents until they're seven months old. Vixens have been known to go to great lengths to protect their pups.
FOXES ARE PLAYFUL
Foxes are known to be friendly and curious. They play among themselves, as well as with other animals, like cats and dogs do. They love balls, which they will steal from backyards and golf courses.
FOXES HAVE A WIDE AND VARIED DIET
Foxes are omnivores which means they have a meat and vegetarian diet. Their typical diet can consist of small animals such as rats, lizards, and rabbits. They can also eat fruit, berries, insects, and vegetables.
WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?
Foxes make 40 different sounds. The most startling though might be its scream. Foxes use various sounds and pitches to communicate with each other. Their high-pitched howls are noticeable during the mating period which falls during the months of December and January.