Red fox in the snow. By Menno Schaefer |
Red fox in the snow. By Menno Schaefer |

About the red fox.

It has the widest distribution of any terrestrial carnivore

Even though it is the smallest member of the family of the Canidae, the red fox has many ‘cat-like’ features, like vertical pupils, retractable claws, they climb trees and play with their prey before killing it.

In Japan the fox (kitsune – 狐) is a sacred animal. According to mythology, it is an intelligent being that possesses magical abilities.

They have whiskers on their face and legs that help them to navigate along the Earth’s electromagnetic fields. This is also very useful for hunting, along with their acute sense of hearing.

The are great nocturnal predators. Behind the light-sensitive cells, they have something like a layer that reflects light back through the eye. This doubles the intensity of the images they see.

In Australia they were introduced by humans to control other species like hares. The absence of predators, along with the large amount of prey that they could get, made them be considered almost an infestation, and the government had to implement control measures on many occasions.

The fox has been hunted for centuries for its fur, driving it close to extinction in some areas. Fox hunting was banned in Scotland in 2002, and in England and Wales in 2004, under the Hunting Act.

Even with a full stomach, these animals keep hunting and they can even hide their prey to eat it afterwards.

They are largely monogamous, but they can occasionally mate with more than one female. They are solitary animals, except during the breeding season, when they form solid family units.

While they can emit up to 28 different sounds for communication purposes, they can not bark like other canids.

They can run up to a speed of 48 km/h (30 mph).

Thanks to their acute sense of hearing, they can hear low frequency sounds and even detect rodents burrowing underground.

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), looking for something to eat. Autumn. By Marcin Perkowski |
Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), looking for something to eat. Autumn. By Marcin Perkowski |
Red foxLeast concern
Vulpes vulpes46-90 cm (18-35 in) + 55 cm (22 in) of tail.
Canidae3,6-14 kg (8-31 lb)
Carnivora5 years
Mammalia52-53 days
This species is common.Invertebrates (like insects, worms, crabs and mollusks) and small mammals (like rodents, rabbits and moles)
Deciduous or coniferous forests, grasslands, coastal areas, the Alpine tundra, the taiga or mountain plateaus.The red fox can be currently found in Eurasia, North America, south of Australia and several areas in the north of Africa.

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