Foxes are best known as sly creatures; however, these are like any other animal in the wild. Read some interesting facts about foxes and their relationship with man in this AnimalSake post.
‘As sly as a fox’ is an oft-heard term from fables and stories from ancient folklore. This animal finds a prominent mention in literature, but often with negative connotations.
So, are these hunters really as sly as they are portrayed? These interesting facts about foxes will help you get acquainted with these beautiful creatures.
Fast Facts about Foxes
Scientific name: Vulpini
Lifespan: 5 years (on an average in the wild)
Gestation period: 50 – 60 days
- Foxes are solitary animals who do not prefer to live in packs. The fox belongs to the medium-sized Canidae family.
- Foxes can be found in almost every kind of habitat. They also show an ability to adapt to the presence of humans.
- The Fennec fox is the smallest fox seen amongst all the species. This tiny animal weighs a mere 3.5 pounds.
- Foxes are the only type of canines who can retract their claws like cats do. They also have vertical pupils that resemble those of cats, rather than the rounded pupils seen in dogs.
- 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.
- As compared to wolves or jackals, foxes are smaller in size. They are characterized by their sharp muzzle and the rather bushy tail. The chest area and the underbelly generally have a shade of white or gray.
- The physical characteristics may vary as per the species of the fox. The Red fox has a reddish brown coat and the Arctic fox has very thick fur. This would simply mean, the characteristics would depend upon the habitat of the fox.
- The Red fox is the most commonly found species of foxes; it is found all over the world.
- Foxes generally prefer areas of higher latitudes. They can also adapt fairly well to an urban environment.
- This animal has been used successfully on fruit farms to control pests. Foxes help to get rid of rodents without really harming the fruits.
- Foxes that inhabit areas close to humans also feed on household wastes.
- Although foxes are similar in some ways to cats and dogs, they generally avoid contact with these animals.
- Foxes feed on rodents, worms, insects, birds and all types of smaller-sized animals. They are known to store their food in hideouts to be consumed at a later time.
- Foxes are basically nocturnal animals and prefer to hunt at night.
- This animal is also known to play an important role ib the ecological cycle by killing rodents and helping control their population.
- The fox was an important character in the Aesop Fables, ‘The Fox and the Grapes’. The idiom, ‘Sour Grapes’ (used to denote a person who after facing loss, does not admit the intention to win) was derived from this story.
- Foxes have often been depicted in folklore as cunning creatures. Stories often suggest these animals also have magical powers.
- The female fox is called a vixen but in case of humans, a vixen is used to describe an attractive but cunning woman!
- Fox characters have been portrayed in numerous films and TV shows. The Disney film, ‘The Fox and the Hound’ was based on a novel by Daniel Pratt Mannix IV.
- The fox is considered to be an important and sacred figure in Mesopotamian mythology.