This week we thought we would look at some fabulous facts about foxes courtesy of the internet:
- Foxes live on every continent except for Antarctica.
- Foxes are part of the Canidae family. This means that they are related to dogs, wolves and jackals. But they do actually have a lot in common with cats. They are mostly active at night and have vertically oriented pupils to allow them to see in low light. They also have sensitive whiskers in the same way as cats.
- There are 12 species of fox (Latin name: vulpes vulpes). The most common of these is the red fox and there are over 45 sub species of red fox. The red fox also has the widest geographical range in that it is prevalent across the Northern Hemisphere and also in Australia.
- Foxes are usually solitary animals and don’t live in packs unlike the rest of the canidae family. However, they are good parents and a litter of cubs will live with both parents until they are around seven months old. Foxes tend to only have one litter of cubs each year and a litter can be between one and eleven cubs.
- A red fox’s range can vary from 10 hectares in cities to over 2,000 hectares in rural areas.
- The smallest fox is the fennec fox which lives in the Sahara Desert. It sleeps during the day and is active at night. The fennec fox is unusual due to it’s long ears and cream colouring. Its ears are not just to help it to hear its prey but also to radiate body heat to keep the fox cool. Even its paws, covered in fur, have adapted to the harsh climate. The fox can walk on the hot sand.
- The phrase ‘fox fires’ comes from Finnish mythology. The myth says a fox made the Northern Lights by running in the snow so that its tail swept sparks into the sky.
I’m going to finish this blog with the thought that though we think of a dog as man’s best friend we might have to rethink this. In 2011, the remains of a man and his pet fox were found in a 16,500 year old Jordanian cemetery. That’s 4,000 years before the first known human and dog were buried together!!
Thanks to the internet for supplying our fox facts especially Mental Floss which is a great site for research.
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