Fox (animal) – Information, habitat and characteristics

We explain everything about foxes, where they live, what they eat and other characteristics. Also, how they reproduce and how long they live.

Some species of foxes are hunted for their fur and are in danger of extinction.

What are foxes?

It is known as foxes or vulpinos to a group of quadruped mammals of the canidae family, characterized by being agile, fast solitary hunters, considered in the culture of different regions of the world as a symbol of cunning and liveliness.

Around 27 species of foxes are known, properly grouped into four different genera:

  • Vulpes (European foxes)
  • Fennecus (fennecs)
  • Otocyon (long eared foxes or autumn)
  • Urocyon (American foxes)

However, it is common that the name “fox” is given to canids of other different genera, species of wild dogs that share certain physical or behavioral traits with the fox.

Foxes are animals with an abundant population throughout the world, which can even become a pest in the regions where they were artificially introduced, as happened in Australia, where they were imported during the 19th century with the purpose of controlling rodents. in agricultural fields. Thus, they have been responsible for the extinction of species of rabbits and rodents.

They are wild and distrustful animals in the face of human presence, frequently hunted to use their fur in making coats, to the point that many species are in danger of extinction by human hands. At the same time, others have been domesticated through selective breeding.

Fox characteristics

fox characteristics
Fox fur varies in color and abundance depending on the habitat to which they have adapted.

In general, foxes are characterized by the following:

  • They are canids (animals similar to dogs), that is, quadruped mammals with a long snout and a more or less hairy body and a medium tail, but unlike dogs, they have large, pointed ears, and a thin, angular snout.
  • They are smaller in body than other members of the canine family (such as dogs, wolves and coyotes), and their fur varies in color and abundance according to the habitat to which they adapted. The arctic fox, for example, has dense, abundant and white fur, while the common fox tends to have reddish, long and less dense fur.
  • They have very keen senses of smell and hearing, which allow them to be great hunters, at the same time as very elusive animals in front of their possible predators or rivals.
  • Unlike other canids, they are solitary animals, which come together to reproduce and then regain their independence.
  • Domesticated specimens have shown behaviors similar to those of the dog common, such as wagging its tail, licking its owners and responding to the call of its name.

Where do foxes live?

fox habitat where they live
Foxes are even found in the tundras near the pole.

Foxes have adapted to virtually all habitats in the world, depending on the species. They are particularly abundant in Europe and North America, and also have a presence in the near-pole regions of the tundras of northern Europe and Asia. In general, these are inhabitants of the northern hemisphere of the world.

What do foxes eat?

Foxes are hunters, that is, predators. Their diet is basically omnivorous, that is, it is made up of everything they get: insects, small rodents, rabbits, small birds, eggs, small fish, some fruits and even carrion or human food remains. It is common for them to make food caches, burying something to eat later.

How do foxes reproduce?

reproduction fox
Foxes give birth deep within a den or burrow.

Like all mammals, foxes reproduce sexually and viviparously. They may establish long-standing, monogamous relationships, or they may be polygamous and continually exchange reproductive partners.

The female heat lasts between 3 days and 3 weeks, and have a gestation of around 52 days, and have between 4 and 5 puppies per litter. Parturition occurs deep within a den or den that foxes can dig at the foot of trees and other soft ground, or even in warm, enclosed spaces in human buildings.

How long do foxes live?

The average lifespan of foxes ranges between 2 and 5 years, depending on the species.