Appearance. All representatives of the Canine family are animals with sharp ears and a muzzle, thin legs, non-retractable claws and a fluffy tail, with which they cover their nose and forepaws while resting in winter.
Foxes are medium sized animals with a long, very furry tail and large sharp ears. The chest is white. Body length 60-90 cm, tail 40-60 cm. The back side of the ears is black, the tip of the tail is white, black spots on the legs. The color is red, often with a dark cross on the shoulders, in the steppe and desert foxes (karaganok) - yellowish-gray or yellow, in the Far East - almost red, in the Caucasus - sometimes gray. Occasionally (often in the Kuril Islands), black-brown foxes are found. (1). Many color forms have been bred on animal farms: silver-black, platinum, such animals sometimes run away from animal farms to the delight of local hunters.
Spread. The common fox lives everywhere, except for the Arctic tundra and some islands, but in areas with a snowy winter it avoids continuous taiga massifs.
Biology and behavior. Like most predatory animals, foxes usually do not hunt near their lair, so pegans sometimes safely nest in the branches of residential fox holes. Foxes themselves often settle on the "outskirts" of badger towns.
Traces. The trace is oval, the two middle fingers are extended forward, so you can put a match between their prints and the prints of the two extreme fingers (2) (the picture on the left shows the trace of the front paw, and the right foot). The dog’s footprint is more rounded and the front and rear fingers are close together (4). In winter, the paw pads are covered with wool. The step length is 20-30 cm. The fox tracks are located in a straight line. (3), unlike dogs, which are arranged in a zigzag (along a broken line)(5).
Nutrition. It feeds on rodents, less often hares, birds, insects, carrion and garbage, berries. Hunting techniques are extremely diverse. On the outskirts of cities, for example, live foxes, cunning animals that prey mainly on rats and stray cats. Sooner or later, the fox picks up the key to almost any prey. She sometimes rolls the hedgehog into the water to make it turn around. Wild geese are caught together: one animal, by jumping and skating on the ground, distracts the attention of the pack, and the other at this time is selected at the distance of the jump. Steppe foxes travel tens of kilometers along power lines, picking up the remains of prey for buzzards, moons and owls, as well as the corpses of birds that crashed on wires. The fox cleverly digs its main prey - rodents - from under the snow by ear (mice). In years when there are few rodents, she has to switch to a large extent on food by garbage along roads and in landfills. It hunts around the clock, but more often at dusk. In ponds where there are fish locks, she catches fish from the holes left by fishermen or otter holes. On spawning rivers catches salmon.
Reproduction. Gon at the end of winter, in a brood of 3-9 (less often 2-19) puppies (6). For breeding, dig deep holes or occupy strangers (7). Pregnancy is 44-58 days, usually they are 4-6, they feed on milk for 1-1.5 months and become adults by two years. When the foxes grow up, their parents bring them live prey, so that young people have the opportunity to learn the methods of killing the victim (other predators do the same).
Red or ordinary fox (Vulpes vulpes)
The color and size of foxes are different in different places; in total there are 40-50 subspecies, not taking into account the smaller forms. In general, when moving north, foxes become larger and brighter, to the south - smaller and more dull colored. In the northern regions and in the mountains, black-brown and other melanistic forms of fox color are also more common. The most common color of the fox: a bright red back, white belly, dark paws.Often foxes have brown stripes on the ridge and shoulder blades, similar to a cross. Common features: dark ears and a white tail tip. Externally, the fox is a medium-sized animal with an elegant body on low, thin legs, with an elongated muzzle, sharp ears and a long fluffy tail.
Shedding begins in February-March and ends in mid-summer. Immediately after this, the winter fur begins to grow on the fox, in which she fully dresses by the turn of November and December. Summer fur is much rarer and shorter, winter fur is more dense and lush. Foxes are distinguished by large auricles-locators, with the help of which they pick up sound vibrations. Ears for foxes are a “catcher” of prey.
In all parts of its range, the fox prefers open areas, as well as areas where there are separate groves, copses, hills and ravines, especially if in winter the snow cover in them is not too deep and loose. Therefore, of all climatic zones, foxes live most in the steppe and forest-steppe, and not in the forest.
The fox is a beast quite settled. In most areas, it does not have regular migrations. Cases of such are noted only in the tundra, deserts and mountains. For example, one of the foxes tagged in the Malozemelskaya tundra (Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia) was later killed 600 kilometers southwest. Young animals that are settled from the parent's den are usually at a distance of 2-5 to 15-30 km from it.
The number of foxes varies markedly over the years. Its condition is influenced by factors such as the number of rodents, meteorological conditions, the presence of infectious diseases in the population. In the hungry years, not only does the female fertility decrease and fewer puppies survive, but conditions also arise that are favorable for the spread of epizootics, which sometimes cover large areas. Epizootics characteristic of foxes are rabies, predator plague, scabies.
In the wild, foxes rarely live more than seven years, often life expectancy does not exceed three. In captivity, animals live up to 20-25 years.
The fox, although it belongs to typical predators, feeds on very diverse feeds. Among the food she eats, more than 400 species of animals alone have been identified, not counting dozens of plant species. Everywhere, the basis of its nutrition is small rodents, mainly voles. You can even say that the state of the population of this predator depends to a large extent on the sufficiency of their number and availability. This especially applies to the winter period, when the fox lives primarily by hunting for voles: the beast, smelling the rodent under the snow cover, listens to his squeaks or rustles, and then dives quickly into the snow, or scatters his paws, trying to catch prey. This method of hunting is called mousing.
Larger mammals, in particular hares, play a much smaller role in nutrition, although in some cases foxes purposefully catch them (especially hare), and corpses can eat during a hare pestilence. Sometimes large foxes can attack roe deer cubs. Birds in the diet of the fox are not as important as rodents, although this predator will never miss the opportunity to catch a bird that appeared on the ground (from the smallest to the largest, for example geese and capercaillie), as well as destroy the laying of eggs or flightless chicks. A fox can abduct poultry, but, according to the observations of zoologists, it does this much less often than is commonly believed.
In deserts and semi-deserts, foxes often hunt reptiles. In Canada and northeastern Eurasia, foxes that live along large rivers seasonally feed almost 100% of the salmon that died after spawning. In the summer, foxes eat a lot of bugs and other insects, as well as, very willingly, their larvae. In hunger periods, they often feed on carrion.
Plant foods — fruits, fruits, berries, and less often vegetative parts of plants — are part of the nutrition of foxes almost everywhere, but most of all in the south of the range, however, nowhere do they play a key role in the nutrition of representatives of this species. They cause significant damage to oat crops, eating these plants in a state of milk ripeness.
An individual site, which is occupied by a couple or a family of foxes, should provide them not only with a sufficient amount of food, but also places suitable for installation of holes. Foxes dig them themselves, or (which often happens) occupy the empty burrows of badgers, marmots, arctic foxes and other digging animals, adapting them to their needs. There are times when a fox lives in a burrow at the same time as a badger, but in different units.
As a rule, foxes use permanent shelters only during the cubs' upbringing, and during the rest of the year, in particular in winter, rest in open dens in snow or grass. But, fleeing persecution, foxes at any time of the year can take refuge in any hole that can be found in their habitats. Also, during the upbringing of offspring, animals are often forced to change housing several times because of their infection with parasites.
Like a wolf, a fox belongs to monogamous animals that breed only once a year. The time of the rut and its effectiveness depends on the weather and the fatness of the animals. There are years when up to 60% of females are left without offspring.
Foxes are good parents. Males take an active part in raising offspring, as well as take care of girlfriends even before the appearance of foxes. They equip burrows, even catch fleas from females. In the case of the death of his father, another single male takes his place, sometimes foxes even fight among themselves for the right to become a stepfather.
About 6 months pass from the time of the rut to the final exit. By autumn, the foxes are fully grown and can live independently. Males go 20-40 kilometers, females 10-15, rarely 30 kilometers, looking for a site and a pair. Some females from the next year begin to breed, in any case, reach puberty at the age of two.
Red foxes live in family groups sharing a joint territory. In favored habitats and / or areas with low hunting pressure, subordinate foxes may be present in a range. Subordinate foxes may number 1 or 2, sometimes up to 8 in one territory. These subordinates could be formerly dominant animals, but are mostly young from the previous year, who act as helpers in rearing the breeding vixen's kits. Alternatively, their presence has been explained as being in response to temporary surpluses of food unrelated to assisting reproductive success. Non-breeding vixens will guard, play, groom, provision and retrieve kits, an example of kin selection. Red foxes may leave their families once they reach adulthood if the chances of winning a territory of their own are high. If not, they will stay with their parents, at the cost of postponing their own reproduction.
Right - Corsac
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Who is she?
(or red) is a predatory mammal belonging to the Canine family. It is the most common and largest species of the genus foxes. The size of these animals does not inspire much fear, since the size of a fox is usually with a small dog. Their body length ranges from 60 to 90 cm, and the length of the legendary tail does not exceed 60 cm. The red cheat weighs from 6 to 9 kg.
Where is it distributed?
Currently, the habitat of this red predator is extensive. The common fox is distributed throughout Europe and Asia, up to southern China, in southern Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Egypt) and in North America, up to the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Moreover, this red-haired beast was artificially acclimatized by a man in Australia! Since then, these animals have spread throughout almost a small continent. We will tell you more about the settlement of foxes in certain areas when we talk about their ecology.
How does she look?
An ordinary fox, the description of which we will now give, is a rather elegant creature. At all times, fox fur was famous for its beauty, silkiness and reddish-orange tint, playing in the sun. The chest of the fox is white, and black “boots” are clearly visible at the ends of the paws. The muzzle, like all Canids, is elongated. The clever eyes, similar to cat's, give a special charm to this creature. Her legendary tail is fluffy and long.It visually increases the fox in size.
In general, the color and size of these predators are completely different, much depends on the habitat of the animal itself. For example, an ordinary fox living in the northern territories (photo is given in the article) is larger than its counterparts, and its fur is lighter. In turn, closer to the south you can find small foxes with tarnished fur. Nevertheless, her most popular color is bright red, because it was not in vain that she was nicknamed the red cheat!
What does she eat?
Mostly red foxes prefer open meadow areas where you can catch rabbits and even grasshoppers. Their main “menu” is small rodents from the Polevkov family. It is believed that the population of red foxes largely depends on their number in a particular area. This is especially important in winter: in the cold season, these animals hunt exclusively for the fox and regulates the number of mouse-like rodents.
Hares are of secondary importance in foxes, however, in some cases, cheats are purposefully catching rabbits and hares. During the so-called hare morale, foxes can become scavengers and eat their corpses. Birds play a lesser role in feeding red beast, but on occasion she will not miss her chance! They love foxes to empty bird egg laying, abduct domestic hens, geese, etc.
By the way, these animals, although they belong to but do not disdain plant foods. The ordinary fox eats various berries (strawberries, blueberries, cherries), apples and grapes with pleasure. In hungry times, these animals eat oats, causing significant damage to crops.
How does she hunt?
The main hunt of an ordinary fox is to catch voles. This process even got its name - mouse. So she mice voles: smelling under the dense snow cover of a rodent, the beast first begins to listen carefully to his squeaks, jumps and rustles, and then dives into the snow! Sometimes a fox can quickly and deftly throw snow in different directions, trying to catch a field vole. And she succeeds.
Usually red foxes live in pairs, in rare cases - families. Their home is nothing more than an ordinary hole. They can independently dig their own holes or occupy someone else's (for example, the burrows of arctic foxes, badgers, marmots). You can’t find fox dwellings anywhere: an individual site should not only provide its inhabitants with a normal amount of food, but also be located in a suitable place. All kinds of slopes of hills or ravines most often become these places.
Fox holes usually have several entrances leading through long tunnels to the most important chamber - nesting. Often these animals become fond of and, accordingly, equip natural shelters - crevices, hollows, caves. As a rule, these animals do not have permanent dwellings. They use only temporary shelters during the upbringing of their offspring, and the rest of the time they live in open areas where there are many mice. In the wild, these animals survive only up to 7 years, but increasingly their life expectancy does not exceed 3 years. It is noted that in captivity they can easily live a quarter century.
Ecology of the common fox
As mentioned above, the ecology of this red beast is very extensive. The colors of the fox and its size are directly related to the habitat of the beast and various factors that determine the existence of the fox in certain territories. The red cheat with different densities populates all the landscape and geographical zones available in the world: these are the tundra, subarctic forests, steppes, deserts, and even mountain ranges in all climatic zones.
Whatever the habitat of the common fox, it still prefers open areas and areas with ravines, groves, hills and copses. This is due to the fact that in winter the snow cover in such places is not too deep, but loose. This allows foxes to easily do their usual business - mice.You already know what it is.
An ordinary fox, as a rule, leads. In most regions of the globe, no migrations are characteristic of these animals. Mostly the inhabitants of the mountains, tundras and deserts migrate. Young growth in this case leaves the "parental home", moving up to 30 km from it.
Ordinary fox. Subtype Description
This species of fox is rich in its diverse subspecies. In total, there are more than 40 of them. Scientists have estimated that with their variety of subspecies, these cheats are second only to the progenitor of domestic dogs - the wolf. For centuries, the fox has demonstrated an amazing ability to survive. Perhaps it is for this reason that the classification of the common fox is so rich. So, its most popular subspecies are recognized:
- European forest
- European steppe,
Like their congeners, wolves, red foxes are monogamous animals. They reproduce no more than once a year. At the same time, the breeding season and its effectiveness directly depend on the fatness of the beast and on external factors, for example, weather conditions. It often happens that more than 50% of the female fox vulgaris cannot bring new offspring for years.
Zoologists note that the red fox copes well with its parental responsibilities. For example, males not only actively raise their offspring, but also take care of the females. Foxes-parents diligently improve their burrows and, like primates, catch fleas on each other. If one of the parents dies, another individual of the corresponding sex takes his place.
We know that most people love foxes, but how not to love these beauties in fluffy fur coats? Therefore, we decided that it would be interesting for you to learn about some of their most beautiful and brightest species of these forest animals. An ordinary or red fox (Vulpes vulpes), that’s what usually comes to mind when you hear the word “fox” and it makes no sense, because this species of fox is the most common in the world and can be found anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. If you love foxes and think that they look much better in the wild than on someone’s neck, then you will definitely want to see the 7 most beautiful species of foxes in their natural element!
Fenech (Fennec Fox)
Fenech foxes living in North Africa and the Sahara Desert are distinguished by their large ears, which serve not only to better hunt the animal, but also to better cool the body in the heat of the day. Also, their creamy fur helps them not to attract the scorching sun during the day and keep warm at night.
The red fox is the largest, most widespread and, as a result, the most diverse species among all foxes. They can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere and in Australia. These foxes are very dexterous hunters and can even jump over a two-meter fence.
The habitat of the common fox, or ginger (Vulpes vulpes) is impressive. It can be found throughout Europe, in all lands of North Africa (from Egypt to northern Tunisia), in most parts of Asia and North America. At one time, the fox was brought to Australia, where it spread throughout the continent, excluding very few areas.
In the general case, we can say: the common fox lives everywhere, excluding the Arctic tundra and some islands. And in multi-snowy areas it avoids taiga massifs.
Appearance and activity
Body length reaches 90 cm, tail 60 cm. The animal weighs about 10 kg.
Outwardly, it resembles a small dog or wolf. Especially the structure of her skull and the contents of her jaws suggest such a thought :). The body of the fox is elegant, the legs are low. The face and ears of the red fox are sharp, the legs are thin, and the tail is fluffy. The claws of the animal are not retracted.
The hind legs are as if created for maneuvering, their strength allows the beast to make unexpected jumps and turns, and if you add a tail that acts like a squirrel as a rudder, you will get the perfect mechanism for avoiding the pursuit and sweeping tracks. That is why in many countries the red fox is the personification of cunning and dexterity.
The sharp ears are black behind, the fluffy tail has a white tip, and the legs are covered with black spots. Of course, the color of the coat depends on the habitat of the fox, but a general trend can be distinguished. The color is bright red from the back, white on the belly and dark on the paws.
But from the end of winter to the middle of summer, the red-haired beauty begins to molt, or rather, by the middle of summer, she already stops molting. And already by November, the fox fully acquires a beautiful winter fur. I think it’s clear that winter fur is thick and lush, and summer fur is rare and short.
As for her abilities: an oblong, vertically cut pupil, capable of significantly changing its size depending on the amount of light, suggests that the beast is able to see in the darkness, but the vision itself is not well developed, the movable tip of the nose hints to us about its good flair, warily raised ears about a clear hearing.
A mustache helps the animal protect its eyes and nose, warning of obstacles and dangers. They are especially sensitive and may be the main safeguard in the dark.
The ordinary fox is a very “livable" animal, although this may not be the right word. Just this fox can live almost anywhere: the tundra, mountain ranges, subarctic forests, deserts. Often this animal is seen near London, and sometimes in London itself :). And they often find housing in urban landfills, in parks and basements of houses.
Despite this seeming indifference to the place of residence, the fox prefers open areas, diluted with all kinds of hills, copses, ravines and groves.
The fox does not like to migrate, except that this can happen in the tundra and desert. Even young animals, after leaving their parents' den, settle at a distance of 30 km from it.
Foxes are NOT loners; they live in pairs or even families. They live in burrows that they can dig on their own and which they could inherit from badgers, arctic foxes or woodchucks. But it also happened that the fox lived in the same hole with the badger, though in different parts of it (maybe she did not know about the “tasty” neighbor?).
Most often, foxes can be found on the slopes of hills and ravines - in places where housing will be protected from the flood.
Oddly enough, there is almost no disguise in the animal’s den, because the fox is primarily associated with cunning in many. But perhaps she does not need enhanced protection. Her house can be found by reference: high (large) choices of land near the entrances, numerous leftovers of food and excrement, as well as long paths to the lair.
True, foxes do not need permanent shelters, they use them only during the upbringing of cubs. In winter, they like to relax in the snow, in the summer in the grass. Burrows are also needed during the persecution: fleeing from the enemy, the beast can clog into any suitable "hole" in size and get away from the chase.
The common fox is not too picky about food. She eats more than 400 species of animals for food - these are just animals, and yet she can feed on several dozen plants. Perhaps that is why foxes are still so common in our world.
The style of fox hunting got its name - mouse. And more recently, scientists made a bold assumption about the ability of these predators to sense the magnetic field of the earth and use it when hunting.
It makes no sense to list all the animals that suffer from the teeth of the beauty, we will name only a few:
- small rodents: mice, voles, etc.
- larger ones: hares, roe deer.
- birds: they are not so important, but why miss the chance to eat what itself fell into its clutches? Geese, grouse, chicks and eggs - all that had the imprudence to be on the way.
In Canada and Eurasia, the fox is able to eat 100% only salmon fish that die after spawning. Also, various insects, carrion (especially if the year was hungry), plants and their fruits are included in the diet.
American Corsac (Vulpes velox)
The American corsac is called the dwarf nimble fox. This species is widespread in North America. You can meet her both in the dry desert and in the grassy plains. In the summer, she leads a nocturnal lifestyle, and waits for the heat of the day in deep burrows. In winter, she can lie in the sun with pleasure. It feeds on insects, rabbits, rodents, carrion. Foxes are secretive and fearful animals. They run very fast, developing speeds of up to 60 km per hour, which is why they were called “fast foxes”. In nature, their life expectancy is 3-4 years. In captivity, they can live up to 13 years.
The Afghan fox has two more names. It is called Balochistan and Bukhara. It is listed in the Red Book. The fox is mainly distributed in Afghanistan, Eastern Iran and Northwest Hindustan. She lives in semi-desert steppes and mountains, but she can also be found in hot regions of Israel near the Dead Sea and in agricultural regions. A distinctive feature of this small fox is that the length of its fluffy tail is equal to the length of its body. She has very large ears, which help her not only hear well, but also cool her body in hot weather. Also a distinctive feature is the black stripe running from the eyes to the upper lip. The Afghan fox is omnivorous. Compared to other foxes, it is more herbivorous.
African fox is common in semi-desert areas of Africa that border the Sahara desert. Foxes live in small groups or pairs. They dig deep long burrows, in which they hide from the heat in the daytime. They feed on rodents, birds, eggs and vegetation. There is a period when they eat only wild melons and berries. Usually they are born from 3-6 cubs, weighing from 50-100 grams. Foxes reach puberty by the year of their life. Both parents and other group members take part in raising the puppies. Life expectancy of foxes is up to 10 years.
The Bengal fox is also called the Indian fox, so it lives on the Indian subcontinent. She avoids dense forests and deserts, so she can be found in fields, mountains and sparse forests. Can settle and next to human settlements. It feeds on small mammals, insects, bird eggs and fruits. Lives up to 10 years. Digs two types of holes: simple, having only two inputs and complex, having several inputs. It is an object of sports hunting, as well as its teeth and claws are used in medicine.
Korsak or steppe fox is common in semi-deserts, deserts and in the steppes of Southeastern Europe and Asia. Like all foxes, she lives in holes. But he prefers to occupy other people's burrows of marmots, gophers, gerbils, badgers and foxes. Unlike other species of foxes, corsac almost does not eat plant foods. It can go without water for a long time. Korsaki is monogamous, so they create pairs once and for life.
The sand fox is also called the Ruppel fox, named after the German zoologist. Since the fox lives in hot regions, the pads of its paws are covered with thick wool, which protects them from overheating. She has excellent sense of smell, vision and hearing. It can go without water for a long time. The rivals of this species are Brown Foxes, which displace the sand fox in more extreme habitats. Therefore, this species was on the verge of extinction. The sand fox is protected by nature reserves, so hunting is prohibited.
The Tibetan fox is the smallest in the fox family. It is distinguished from other foxes by the presence of the longest fangs. It is distributed mainly in the semi-deserts and steppes of the Tibetan plateau. She lives only where there are pikas, which are her main food. They go hunting only in pairs and divide their prey in half. They live in holes or dens.Life expectancy is possible up to 10 years, but most often they do not live even five years. The threat to their lives are domestic dogs and poisoned pests.
Fenech is the smallest fox in the Canine family. She is smaller than a domestic cat. Its feature is that among all predators, its ears are very large compared to the size of the head. Their length is 15 cm. In their youth, the phoenixes are all white, and then begin to acquire a reddish color. They live mainly in central Sahara. They live in groups, the number of which can reach up to ten. Lead a nocturnal lifestyle. They are omnivores.
They dig deep, long burrows. In April, the female brings from 2-6 puppies, weighing only 50 grams. For two weeks she is with them, and a male brings her food, whom she does not allow for the first time to puppies. Life expectancy is 7-8 years, but in captivity they can live up to 20. The enemies of this fox are primarily people who kill them for fur or catch them for sale as a pet. A snake entering a hole can also kill this fox.
The South African fox is common in southern Africa, except for coastal areas near the Indian Ocean. This species inhabited the savannahs and semi-deserts. She loves open areas. Hunts at night alone. These foxes breed year round. A family is created once for life. Life expectancy in nature is up to 6 years.
Genus Arctic foxes
Arctic fox or polar fox is distributed beyond the Arctic Circle. It can be found both on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, and on its islands. It lives in open tundra. The Arctic fox is the only representative of the canine family, changing the color of its color depending on the season. Arctic fox can be white and blue in color. White fox is snow-white only in winter, and in summer it becomes dirty - brown. “Blue” refers to arctic foxes that have an ash gray with a blue tint or dark brown shimmering with silver, and it can also be coffee or light brown in color. Arctic fox is an omnivore. The enemies of arctic foxes are wolves, wolverines, foxes, as well as white owls and eagles. This species is a source of valuable fur.
Genus Gray foxes
The gray fox is a very dexterous and agile animal that, unlike other foxes, can climb trees. A distinctive feature of this fox is a black stripe on the tail, which stretches from its base to the end. The sides, neck and paws of her are mostly dark brown in color, and her stomach is white. The back, head and tail are gray. Couples create once and for life. This fox is exterminated for its soft fur.
Outwardly, in color, this fox is no different from the gray fox living on the continent. It differs only in its size. Animals that live on the islands most often become dwarfs. The size of this fox is not larger than a cat. The fox is a clear example of island dwarfism, which is usually due to food shortages and relative safety. The main enemy of this fox is a golden eagle, which is the main cause of death of this species.
Maikong inhabits grassy and wooded plains. In the rainy season, it can be found in mountainous areas. Hunts at night alone. Omnivorous. Even crabs are included in his diet. It is called a fox - a crab-eater. Loves mangoes and bananas. He does not dig his own holes, but occupies strangers. They breed twice a year. Puppies are born dark gray with a red spot. In the brood, usually 2-5 puppies weighing 120-150 grams. After a month, they change their coat color and become color like adult foxes. Three months later, the puppies are completely ready for an independent life.
Andean fox (Lycalopex culpaeus)
Andean fox is one of the largest species in the genus of South American foxes. She reaches a weight of 13 kg. In many ways, it is very similar to a red fox. This species includes 6 subspecies that live along the entire western coast of South America. Lives in open spaces and in deciduous forests.
Darwin fox (Lycalopex fulvipes)
The fox was named after the famous naturalist Charles Darwin, who discovered this species in 1831 on the island of Chiloe near Chile. At first it was considered an island fox, but later this species of foxes was also discovered on the continent. This is a forest animal that lives in the humid jungle and leads a solitary lifestyle. It weighs from 2-4 kg. This fox does not mate with representatives of another species belonging to the genus of South American foxes. Darwin fox is endangered. There are 200 foxes on the island, and 50 on the continent.
Brazilian fox (Lycalopex vetulus)
It is found in southwestern Brazil. Inhabits savannas, mountainous and wooded areas. It feeds mainly on termite insects, which it extracts in the soil. Lives in abandoned burrows of armadillos. Gives birth usually from 2-4 puppies. The male takes an active part in raising puppies. At 10 months of age, the foxes leave their parental home.
Securan fox (Lycalopex sechurae)
Distributed in forests and deserts in northwestern Peru and southwestern Ecuador. Refers to the smallest omnivorous species of South American foxes. In winter and spring, the main diet is plant foods. In autumn and winter, he eats poultry and guinea pigs. Leads a nocturnal lifestyle. Offspring brings in October - November. The main threat to the kids is the boas that hunt them.
The Arctic marble fox is also a representative of the red species of foxes, whose coloring is not found in the wild - its color was artificially bred for fur.
In 1959, an experiment was begun on the domestication of silver-black foxes. D.K. Belyaev (director of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics) selected only benevolent individuals. As a result, the fox became domestic, but its appearance was lost: the tail was bent, the forehead became convex, the ears were drooping, and the fur worsened its quality.
Breeding foxes is more related to their fur. But, despite the active hunting by humans, the beast was able to maintain its population and is not a rare species until now.
There are a lot of subspecies of foxes, I would not want to list them all now, we can only say that there are more than 40 of them.
The gray fox that lives in North America is distinguished by its salt and pepper fur coat, black tail tip and red muzzle. This fox is one of the few dogs that can climb trees.
Falkland Fox (Dusicyon australis)
This is an extinct species of foxes that was discovered in 1692 by Captain John Strong in the Falkland Islands. This fox was uncontrollably shot by hunters because of fur and poisoned, as it represented a threat to the herds of sheep. The last fox was killed in 1876. Samples of this fox can be found in museums in London, Brussels, Leiden and Stockholm. Her image can be seen on the reverse of a Falkland Islands coin with a face value of 50 pence.
Subfamily of Ears Foxes (Otocyoninae)
Larger-eared fox is common in two areas of Africa, where herbivorous termites live. It inhabits semi-deserts and dry savannahs. In winter, she leads a daytime lifestyle, and in the summer at night. The presence of 48 teeth is the main distinguishing feature of this species. Almost does not eat plant food, does not attack pets. Ears, which help cool the body in the heat and hear the movement of prey well, are 13 cm long. It has only one subspecies - Otocyon megalotis virgatus. Foxes are monogamous. Once a year, the female gives birth from 2-6 puppies, but since she has only four nipples, she kills weak foxes. A threat to the fox is the locals who kill her for fur and meat.
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Foxes (foxes). Foxes as a whole are smaller and more elegant than wolves and dogs, and large prey is too tough for them. Their legs are short, and they run poorly, hunting more often from an ambush, competing with the victim not in speed, but in dexterity. Plant fodder is also important for foxes.
The most famous representative of the fox genus is the red (ordinary) fox, which lives throughout Eurasia, in North America and in northern Africa. Foxes live almost everywhere: in forests, in the tundra, in the southern steppes, in the mountains and in deserts. The favorite prey of American foxes is rabbits, they are small and not very fast. In European forests, rabbits occupy the place of rabbits, but rarely succeed in catching a rabbit - it runs scythe too fast, and it’s too large. Most often, the fox for lunch gets mice and voles. In the summer, foxes eat a lot of fruits, catch frogs and insects, dig out worms. All food to this omnivorous beast! Foxes live singly or in pairs. A family of foxes in the expectation of offspring settles in the hole. A fox can dig a hole itself, but more often it takes other people's holes, biting a former owner before a housewarming party. Both female and male take care of foxes.
The short-legged fox is an unimportant runner, and the famous fox cunning helps out on the hunt. Sensing a prey from afar, the fox can sneak up on it and deftly grab an unsuspecting prey. She sits for hours in an ambush by a rabbit hole, smelling that she’s the owner of the house and grabs him as soon as he pops out. Running the race with a fast hare, the fox will deceive him with a cunning maneuver, jump out to cross him and grab him. And the hens are stealing! Directly from under the nose in yard dogs.
The red fox is the largest of the genus foxes. Her closest relative - Korsak - may even get her dinner. Korsaki are found in the steppes and semi-deserts of Eurasia. They spend the day in burrows, fleeing in summer from heat, in winter from frost, and go out at night to catch gophers, jerboas, gerbils and other small rodents, as well as lizards, snakes and birds.
Near the corsac lives a small Afghan fox with a very long fluffy tail and dark hair. Small and American foxes that live in the steppes and deserts of North America. Their main enemies are coyotes. Learning to escape from them, American foxes became the fastest of foxes: they flee from predators at speeds up to 60 km / h.
Like other foxes living in the steppes, deserts and savannahs, Korsaka, Afghan and American foxes are distinguished by large ears. Such radiator ears protect the inhabitants of the desert from overheating: the blood, passing through the ears, cools in the air and, returning to the body, cools it. The biggest ears of a small fox are Fenech from the African Sahara desert. These "locators" not only cool, but also catch the slightest rustle, helping the fox on the hunt. Fenechs hunt alone, although, unlike most foxes, they live in family groups of a pair of Fenechs and their offspring of different ages. Sometimes several families of Fenechs live in the same burrow, together take care of the offspring, protect their site, and repulse the predators from the groats.
A short-haired sand fox is found near Fenech. Where the Sahara passes into the grassy savannah, an African fox lives, and even further south, in the savannah, a small, large-eared fox. Despite the resemblance to Fenech, the large-eared fox is so unique that it was singled out as a separate genus. The teeth make it unique - it has 48 larger foxes, more than any other animal.
South American fox
South American foxes are a separate genus of the canine family, uniting medium-sized foxes, more like coyotes than their namesakes. These foxes populated different habitats and, adapting to different conditions, formed several species. So, a large Andean fox settled in the mountains, in the Andes, at an altitude above 4500 m. A stocky body and strong legs help her survive in high mountains.
The South American fox is more elegant, it lives in southern South America, having fallen in love with bushes and bushes in hot Argentina, and the tall grassy steppes of Patagonia, and the cool forests of Tierra del Fuego. An elegant Brazilian fox lives in the pampas and hot savannas, the Amazon rainforests - the residence of a rare small fox.
Fox: description, structure, characteristic. What does a fox look like?
The fox is a predatory mammal, belongs to the canine family, that is, it is a distant relative of both the wolf and the domestic dog.
The size of the fox depends on its species and varies from 18 cm (the smallest fox is Fenech) to 90 cm. The fox's weight also changes - from 0.7 to 10 kg. All foxes are distinguished by a special generic trait - an elongated muzzle, an elongated body, but with short limbs.
And any decent fox has a fluffy tail. This very fluffy tail of the fox is not just created by nature for beauty, but also serves practical purposes, it acts as a stabilizer during running, and in winter cold it can additionally warm its mistress. The length of the tail of the fox depends on its species, on average it is 40-60 cm.
Hearing in the fox, as well as the sense of smell are well developed, it is on them that these animals primarily rely during the hunt. As for vision, it is also well developed, moreover adapted for a nocturnal lifestyle and allows you to see well in the dark. But the only drawback of the fox’s vision is the fact that it is not able to recognize colors. The fox has 42 teeth in its mouth, with the exception of the large-eared fox, which has as many as 48 teeth.
The body of the fox is covered with red hair, the density of this hairline depends on the type of fox and its habitat, and can also vary depending on the time of year. So, for example, in foxes living in harsh northern conditions, in winter the fur becomes thick and lush, in summer, the splendor of fox fur decreases.
Where does the fox live
Foxes live on a wide geographical area, they can be found in the forests of Europe, Asia, North America, North Africa and even Australia. Foxes live in our Ukrainian forests. Foxes often hide from human eyes in burrows, which either dig themselves, or do not disdain to pick them up from other animals. You can also meet them in caves and even large hollows of trees.
What does a fox eat in nature?
What does a fox eat in its forest? As we wrote above, a fox - a predatory animal and food for it are different smaller animals - various rodents (field mice, ground squirrels), hares, birds nesting on the ground. The fox does not disdain carrion, as well as leftovers after other predators (wolves, bears), especially if it happens in winter, when catching fresh animals is more problematic.
Foxes living in the steppe regions can also eat various large insects (beetles, termites, locusts), frogs. If there is a river nearby, then the fox will not miss the opportunity to eat fish. In the summer, the menu of foxes is varied with different fruits, berries, fruits, since, like bears, foxes are omnivorous animals.
Interesting fact: during the hunt, the fox can reach speeds of up to 50 km per hour.
In nature, the fox does not have many enemies, some danger can come from the same wolves and bears, but only if the fox inadvertently encroaches on their prey. And so, the fox’s main enemy (like many other animals) is the most dangerous predator - man. Many foxes were exterminated by hunters and poachers for the sake of their furry fur, which subsequently goes to fur coats.
Foxes are incredibly beautiful animals to which songs, poems, fables and even paintings have been dedicated. Depending on the habitat, these predators acquire unusual, compared with the usual forest beauties, appearance.
The fox received her poetic name for her gold-painted fur coat. The Slavs always watched the inhabitants of the forest, noting any distinctive details of their appearance, behavior or even their voices. Translated from Old Slavonic “fox” meant “yellowish”. Therefore, funny red mushrooms are called "foxes."
There is another version of the interpretation of the word. A number of etymologists believe that the "fox" is formed from the Slavic "fox" (spouse, spouse).This theory is also explained in different ways: some explain that some species of these predators create monogamous pairs and raise cubs together, while others suggest that they were called cunning wives. There is a third assumption. The word "fox" comes from the Polish "liszka" (dashing). Thus, the mischievous nature of the animal is noticed.
Fox tail functions
All foxes have a fluffy long tail, which not only decorates the beast, but also serves as a useful device for survival. It allows you to develop greater speed when running, being a special pole for balance. The tail also serves as an effective steering wheel. When a predator (for example, a dog) chases after a red cheat and is about to grab it, the fluffy train sharply unfolds at a right angle and the animal instantly turns to the side. The persecutor rushes on puzzledly.
Many probably wondered: “Why do foxes have a tail tip white?” The answer is quite simple. The fox in the forest must constantly monitor the cubs. In order not to lose sight of the kids among the foliage, a white beacon was created, which each baby raises cheerfully for her mother.
In its tail, the fox stores some nutrients “on a rainy day”. This fluffy tool also serves as a blanket for the animal. In cold weather, the fox covers its nose or cubs' tail. With this part of the body, animals can even communicate! In an elevated state, he shows the strength of the beast, and the willingness to defend territory and prey.
Did you know that the tail of a fox smells like violets? Right at its base is a fairly large gland that produces the aroma of flowers. This is the perfect camouflage device! Moving away from the chase, the fox in the forest sweeps its tracks and hides its smell.
The eyes of the fox are one of the main weapons of the animal on the hunt. Vision is tuned to moving objects, which allows you to instantly notice potential prey. Even a butterfly flying by will not be able to hide from a clever predator. Also, all species of foxes are well oriented in the dark, since it is at night that the animals go hunting. Not a single bird sleeping peacefully on the ground or in the undergrowth will go unnoticed.
Foxes have excellent visual memory. This allows predators to remember places of refuge, paths. This ability is very important for survival in harsh wildlife.
The condition of the animal coat for normal existence in a particular area should be acceptable. All kinds of foxes are carefully prepared for the environmental conditions in which they will live.
In summer, the coat color of these predators is masking. Neither you nor the little beasts can notice the approach of the fox. In the north, Arctic foxes are dressed in white furs, merging with snow. In the mountains, where rocks and scarce soil are combined, foxes camouflage themselves in spotted (gray with ocher) fur coats. Residents of dry deserts received a yellow or light ocher coat from nature. In the forest, an ordinary fox with its dimly red robe hides well against the background of branches, earth and fallen leaves.
Until now, scientists have not figured out why the fur of these predators does not adapt in color to other times of the year. The fact is that many species of foxes become brighter with the onset of winter. Red, brown and black animals stand out strongly against the background of white snow, which, oddly enough, does not affect the effectiveness of hunting.
However, depending on the temperature, the structure of the fox coat changes. The animal adapts to nature. In summer, fox fur is rare, dull, without undercoat, and is tight to the body. It’s much easier to keep your body cool. In winter, after seasonal molting, foxes put on tight clothes. Thick undercoat does not allow heat to leave and warms, like a down jacket. The upper villi are saturated with a special secret that does not allow the predator to get wet (foxes often fall asleep in the snow).
Species of foxes
The following is a brief description of several varieties of foxes:
- Common fox (red fox) (lat.Vulpes vulpes) is the largest representative of the genus fox.The weight of the fox reaches 10 kilograms, and the body length with the tail is 150 cm. Depending on the area of residence, the color of the fox may vary slightly in tone saturation, but the main color of the back and sides remains bright red and the belly is white. Black “stockings” are clearly visible on the legs. A characteristic sign of an ordinary fox is a white tip of the tail and dark, almost black ears. The habitat includes all of Europe, the territory of North Africa, Asia (from India to South China), North America and Australia. Representatives of this species of foxes with pleasure eat field mice, hares, roe deer cubs, at the opportunity, break the nests of geese and capercaillie, feed on carrion, beetles and insect larvae. Surprisingly, the red fox is a fierce exterminator of oat crops: in the absence of a meat menu, it attacks the farmland of cereals, causing damage to them.
- American fox (lat.Vulpesmacrotis) - medium-sized predatory mammal. The body length of the fox varies from 37 cm to 50 cm, the tail reaches a length of 32 cm, the weight of an adult fox varies between 1.9 kg (in a female) and 2.2 kg (in a male). The back of the animal is painted in yellowish-gray or whitish tones, and the sides - in yellowish-brown. Distinctive features of this species of foxes are a white belly and a black tip of the tail. The lateral surface of the muzzle and the sensitive whiskers are dark brown or black. The length of the fur hairs does not exceed 50 mm. The fox lives in the southwestern deserts of the United States and north of Mexico, feeds on hares and rodents (kangaroo jumpers).
- Afghan fox (Bukhara, Balochistan fox) (lat. Vulpescana) - a small animal belonging to the Canids family. The length of the fox does not exceed 0.5 meters. The length of the tail is 33-41 cm. The weight of the fox ranges from 1.5-3 kilograms. The Bukhara fox is distinguished from other species of foxes by rather large ears, the height of which reaches 9 cm, and dark stripes extending from the upper lip to the corners of the eyes. In winter, the color of fox fur on the back and sides acquires a rich brownish-gray color with individual black outer hairs. In summer, its intensity decreases, and the whitish color of the throat, chest and abdomen remains unchanged. The Afghan fox does not have a hairline on the surface of the paw pads that protects other desert foxes from hot sand. The main habitat of the fox is the east of Iran, the territory of Afghanistan and Hindustan. It is less common in Egypt, Turkmenistan, the UAE, and Pakistan. The Afghan fox is an omnivore. With appetite, it absorbs locusts, mice and gophers, does not refuse a vegetarian menu.
- African fox (lat.Vulpespallida) has an external resemblance to a red fox (lat. Vulpes vulpes), however, has a more modest size. The total body length of the fox with the tail does not exceed 70-75 cm, and the weight rarely reaches 3.5-3.6 kg. Unlike an ordinary fox, its African cousin has longer legs and ears. The color of the back, legs and tail with a black tip is red with a brown tint, and the muzzle and abdomen are white. A black rim is clearly visible around the eyes of adults, and a strip of dark-colored fur runs along the ridge. African fox lives in African countries - it can often be seen in Senegal, Sudan and in Somalia. The food of the fox consists of both animals (small rodents, lizards) and plant components.
- Bengal fox (Indian fox) (lat.Vulpesbengalensis). This species of foxes is characterized by medium size. The height of adults at the withers does not exceed 28-30 cm, the weight of the fox ranges from 1.8 to 3.2 kg, and the maximum body length reaches 60 cm. The length of the tail of a fox with a black tip rarely reaches 28 cm. The hair that forms the hairline short and smooth. It is painted in various shades of sand-brown or red-brown. This species of foxes lives in the foothills of the Himalayas, feels great in India and on the territory of Bangladesh and Nepal.Indian fox menu always has a place for sweet fruits, but preference is given to lizards, bird eggs, mice, insects.
- Korsak, steppe fox (lat.Vulpescorsac) has a distant resemblance to an ordinary fox, however, unlike her, the representatives of this species of foxes have a shorter pointed muzzle, large wide ears and longer legs. The body length of an adult corsac is 0.5-0.6 m, and the weight of a fox ranges from 4 to 6 kg. The color of the back, sides and tail of the fox is gray, sometimes with a red or red tint, and the color of the belly is yellowish or white. A characteristic feature of this species is the light color of the chin and lower lip, as well as the dark brown or black color of the tip of the tail. The steppe fox lives in many countries: from southeast Europe to Asia, including Iran, the territory of Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. Often found in the Caucasus and the Urals, lives on the Don and in the lower Volga. Steppe foxes feed on rodents (field voles, jerboas, mice), ruin their nests, hunting for bird eggs, and sometimes attack hedgehogs and hares. There is practically no plant food in the diet of the steppe fox.
- Sand Fox (lat.Vulpesrueppelli) It has characteristic large, wide ears and paws, the pads of which are protected from hot sand with a thick fur cover. Unlike most relatives, representatives of this species of foxes have well developed not only hearing and smell, but also vision. The pale brown color of the back, tail and sides with separate white outer hairs serves the fox as a good camouflage color in the conditions of sand and stone placers in the habitat. The weight of adult animals rarely reaches 3.5-3.6 kg, and the length of the body of the fox with the tail does not exceed 85-90 cm. The sand fox lives in a desert area. Numerous populations are found in the sands of the Sahara Desert - from Morocco and sultry Egypt to Somalia and Tunisia. Sand fox eats not too diverse, which is associated with the habitat. The fox's food includes lizards, jerboas and mice, spiders and scorpions, which the animal is absolutely not afraid of and deftly absorbs.
- Tibetan fox (lat.Vulpesferrilata) grows to a size of 60-70 cm and weighs about 5 kg. A rusty brown or fiery red color of the back, gradually turning into a light gray color of the sides and a white belly, gives the impression of stripes running along the body of the fox. The fur of the fox is dense and longer than in other species. The fox lives on the territory of the Tibetan plateau, less commonly found in northern India, Nepal, and in some provinces of China. The food of the Tibetan fox is diverse, but it is based on pikas (senostavki), although the fox with pleasure catches mice and hares, does not disdain the bird and its eggs, eats lizards and sweet berries.
- South African fox (lat.Vulpes chama) - a rather large animal with a weight of 3.5 to 5 kg and a body length of 45 to 60 cm. The tail is 30-40 cm long. The color of the fox varies from gray with a silver tint to almost black on its back and gray with a yellowish tinge on its stomach. . The fox inhabits exclusively in the countries of South Africa, especially large populations are found in Angola and Zimbabwe. An omnivorous species of foxes: small rodents, lizards, low-nesting birds and their eggs, carrion and even food debris, which the animal seeks when entering private yards or dumps, go to food.
Fox character and lifestyle
The fox most often prefers to get its own food in the afternoon. But she has absolutely all the necessary skills for night hunting, which she sometimes does. Her senses are very highly developed, many predators can envy them.
The fox's vision is at such a high level that she sees everything even during rather poor visibility. Her ears, which are constantly moving, catch the slightest rustling, this helps the fox to notice rodents. At the slightest hint that the mouse is nearby, the fox completely freezes and tries in this position to calculate where and how the rodent sits.
After that, she makes a powerful leap and lands just on the victim, pressing her tightly to the ground.Each predator has its own territory marked with excrement. Many farmers consider this animal as a pest for agriculture. This question can be considered from two sides, completely opposite to each other.
Yes, these predators are considered as a threat to poultry, they can get into the chicken coop and steal it. But it was noticed that the fox chooses the weakest and most ill-adapted chickens. On the other hand, the “red beast” destroys rodents in the fields and next to the barns, which helps to preserve and double the crop.
A meeting with eagles, coyotes, wolves, a bear, a puma and a man is very dangerous for foxes. In addition to the fact that people hunt animals because of its beautiful valuable fur, the pathos hunt has long been open for animals, during which equestrian people with dogs surround the fox and drive it to death.
It is this type of hunting that has been banned since 2004, but all its other species remain legal. In Japan, this animal is revered. The fox for them is the God of rain and the messenger of the God of rice. According to the Japanese, a fox protects a person from evil and is a symbol of longevity. Native Americans disagreed about this animal. Those Indians who live closer to the North insist that she is a wise and noble messenger from heaven. Tribes living on the plains claim that the fox is a cunning and vile predator that can lure a person into a mortal embrace in a matter of seconds.
For us, a fox is a wise, decisive, with an incredible desire for action animal. In the animal world, foxes are animals with great inner qualities and potential.
Where does the fox live: habits of the fox. Fox holes
Foxes do not always live in holes. They use these dwellings only when raising offspring, and spend the rest of the time outdoors. The foxes have practically no feelings at home. They settle where they like, and even then not for long. The fox willingly digs holes near human dwellings, sometimes foxes wander even in large cities. The fox often does not want to dig a hole on her own and uses other people's dwellings, for example, the fox respects comfortable burrows dug by a badger.
The mother fox acquires holes not only in order to grow offspring in them or to shelter from prolonged bad weather. Often burrows provide them with shelter in case of danger. The old fox, as usual, has not one hole where its brood is placed, but several at once, which provide it with a reliable shelter in exceptional cases.
Fox hatchery holes are mainly located on the slopes of the ravine, not far from the stream, in the forest thicket, that is, where people usually do not wander. It happens that a fox returns from year to year to a burrow once dug by it. Then such "apartments" are constantly expanding, renovating, and acquiring additionally several "rooms", which are usually located on 2 - 3 floors. Hunters are well acquainted with such holes and call them "centuries-old".
Usually, the fox hatching hole is equipped with several exits - gnats, which allow it to leave its shelter unnoticed in case of danger. The main scent, which the fox regularly uses to enter and exit, is visible from afar. Usually this is a clean area, sprinkled with sand, which appeared here as a result of many years of cleaning holes. Here you can often see playing foxes.
Black Fox (Silver Fox)
The black-brown fox is actually the same kind of red fox, differing only in other pigmentation. There was a time when the black fox was considered one of the most valuable fur foxes that could be found. People still breed and raise them because of the fur.
Arctic Fox (Arctic Fox)
Arctic foxes can be found throughout the Arctic Circle. Its thick fur protects the animal from colossally low temperatures (-70 degrees Celsius). These foxes have relatively short paws and a muzzle, which allows them to keep warm.
Another species of red fox, which is the most common in North America.
Beauty - Red Fox
Today, the fox is not a very desirable hunting trophy, as it was some 50 years ago, when the fashion for fox hats and short fur coats significantly reduced the number of this small predator in the open spaces of the then USSR. Nevertheless, many modern hunters love to go to the fox. Moreover, hunting for this agricultural pest is allowed year-round, no licenses are required. There is only one minus: the fox is only valuable fur and no meat. Although there is one more minus, we will dwell on it further.
Today, the fox is not a very desirable hunting trophy, as it was some 50 years ago, when the fashion for fox hats and short fur coats significantly reduced the number of this small predator in the open spaces of the then USSR. Nevertheless, many modern hunters love to go to the fox. Moreover, hunting for this agricultural pest is allowed year-round, no licenses are required. There is only one minus: the fox is only valuable fur and no meat. Although there is one more minus, we will dwell on it further.
There is a lot of information about fox hunting, including on our website. But we want to supplement it with the stories of an old fox hunter with hunting experience of more than 40 years. But first, a little about the fox.
Fox shedding period
Toward the end of winter, a fox coat, previously shiny and fluffy, begins to fade and becomes rough. The fox begins the molting period - hair falls out, and the beast loses its external attractiveness. Shedding occurs quite quickly, and by May foxes acquire a new fur coat - summer. If the fox is sick or thin, the molting period is stretched, and then even in June you can see a fox with disheveled winter fur. Summer wool is not appreciated: it is rough and rare, since there is practically no undercoat - with the beginning of autumn, the wool begins to thicken. And only with the onset of cold weather the fox fur begins to be considered full.
What does a fox eat? How does a fox hunt?
The fox is a great hunter. In addition to observation and quick wit, she has an excellent memory, good sense of smell and remarkably keen hearing. The squeak of a vole, for example, is heard by a fox beyond 100 m. Being a predator, a fox eats a wide variety of animals. She eats mice, hares, rabbits, amphibians, reptiles with pleasure, digs earthworms from the earth after rain, and catches fish and crayfish in the river. But especially the red cheat likes to enjoy a bird. Therefore, she often looks into the chicken coops. By the way, the fox’s neighborhood doesn’t scare a person at all, so you can often find a fox hole very close to the village. The fox successfully complements the meat diet with berries, apples, and vegetables.
Each fox has its own individual food plot. She jealously guards him from the intrusion of outsiders and always knows what is happening near her hole. The fox usually hunts in the evening and at night, although there are exceptions. Some animals prefer to go around the places of hares lying down in the afternoon, hunt for birds and eat exclusively large game, neglecting mice or frogs.
Despite the fact that the fox will not miss the opportunity to feast on a gape-hare, to catch a grouse or to ravage a bird's nest, in the forest it brings much more benefit than harm. The main food of foxes is voles, mice, ground squirrels and other rodents that cause harm to agriculture. And growing foxes in large numbers exterminate May beetles - known pests in forest areas.
The fox is of great economic importance as a valuable fur-bearing animal, as well as a regulator of the number of rodents and insects. Moreover, the damage caused by foxes and game birds is much less than the benefits they bring, destroying rodents - consumers of grain.
Foxes specially for fur are bred in captivity. At the end of the XIX century, a breed of silver-black (black-brown) foxes was artificially bred.Then, thanks to selection, the quality of the fur was significantly improved (compared to the wild type) in this breed, and a number of other fur breeds based on it were bred: platinum, Bakurian, Dakot and others.
In the south of Europe, wild foxes are the most common carrier of the rabies virus, so they are vaccinated everywhere.
Why is the fox cunning?
Why is a fox called cunning? Some believe that such a bad reputation was attached due to the habits of these animals during the hunt. The fact is that a fox always cunningly sneaks up to its prey, can patiently watch for hours in an ambush near a rabbit hole, and when a potential prey appears in sight, it is also very dexterously and quickly grabs it with its teeth.
In addition, foxes are excellent craftsmen to confuse traces and evade pursuits, sharply changing the direction of movement, probably due to these skills and habits, from time immemorial the epithet "cunning" has been attached to the fox.
Steppe fox (corsac)
This fox is also very similar to the ordinary fox, but unlike it has an even more pointed muzzle, longer legs and wider ears. But the size is smaller, the body length is 0.5-0.6 m, and the weight is 4-6 kg. It has a lighter coat color and a dark or dark brown color of the tip of the tail. The steppe fox lives in many countries, starting from southeast Europe to Asia, including Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Azerbaijan.
This species of fox boasts wide ears and no less wide paws, which have special pads that protect the fox from hot sand with a thick fur cover. The pale brown color of the sand fox also serves as an excellent camouflage against the background of sand and stones where it lives. The size of this fox is average - the length is 89-90 cm, weight - 3.5-3.6 kg. A sand fox lives in the deserts of North Africa, from Morocco and Egypt to Somalia.
It has a brown or fiery red color of the back, turning into a light gray color of the sides. This fox lives on the territory of the Tibetan plateau, also found in India, Nepal and China. Its length is 60-70 cm, weight - up to 5 kg.
Fox at home: maintenance and care
If you are looking for extravagance, then instead of the usual or dogs, you can get a fox and a house, it is only important to remember that the content of these animals has a number of rules:
- A fox cage must be spacious so that it can make a den there.
- There must also be a drinker in the cage so that the fox does not feel thirsty.
- With a fox, you can and should do training, so she will not be bored and can quickly become attached to her owners, like a dog, another distant relative.
- However, aggressive fox games are not recommended; it may bite.
- In the summer, foxes can emit a very strong and unpleasant odor, simply stink, so they will need to be bathed at least once every two weeks.
- When keeping a fox at home, it is very important to have a good veterinarian who will do regular inspections of your unusual pet.
How to feed a fox at home
As for nutrition, foxes can be completely fed dog food, though only premium, chicken, beef or fish. In general, they are not very whimsical in nutrition.
- For some peoples in ancient times it was fox skins that served as money.
- The fact that the fox is a frequent hero of many tales is not news to anyone, but it is interesting that in ancient Mesopotamia she was revered as a sacred animal.
- In medieval Japan, the fox was sometimes considered a real werewolf.
- The fox's hearing is so strong that she can hear the squeak of a field mouse at a distance of 100 meters.
- Perhaps you are reading this article using the Mozilla Firefox browser, the symbol of which is our current heroine, the fox.
And finally, an interesting documentary about foxes from the Animal planet channel.
Fox - One of the most popular heroines of children's fairy tales. But the Fox as a fairy-tale image is endowed with the features characteristic of these animals in reality.The fox is beautiful: a magnificent tail, which is slightly less than half the length of the body, a red coat and a roguish narrow-nosed muzzle with beautiful brown eyes. Also A fox slim, graceful, weighs 6-10 kilograms.
What does a fox look like?
Fox they also call red, and this is actually so, only her belly is white, gray or slightly brownish, and her chest is light. The back and sides of the Fox in different parts are colored differently: from bright red to gray.
In the northern forests, foxes are fiery red and more; in the forest-steppe, they are yellowish-gray and less. Sivodushki, christening, silver fox - these are ordinary Foxes with deviations from normal color. The most beautiful is black-brown fur: the outer hairs with white upper parts give the fur a silver tint.
Many years ago they began to breed such foxes on fur farms; black-brown foxes are very rare in nature.
Summer fox fur hard and short, in it she looks lean, big-headed and even long-legged, he goes less to Lisse than winter. And by autumn, winter fur grows - beautiful, thick. Shedding Fox once a year - in the spring.
The habits of the fox
The fox is a good hunter . In addition to observation and quick wit, she has excellent visual memory, good sense of smell and keen hearing. The mouse squeaks a little, but Fox hears a hundred meters away, a field vole will whisper along the dry grass under a half-meter layer of snow - and he will hear it. He climbs steeply, swims, and is extremely maneuverable on the shore. Her wit when hunting or fleeing from her pursuers is admirable.
Fox can climb a tree if it is slightly tilted or branches low off the ground. The fox is very active. She knows her hunting plot to the smallest detail, systematically inspects it. Winter patterned chains Fox tracks the fields, copses, ravines fancifully cross, lost on roads and trails and intertwining around stacks of straw, hocks of dry soy stems, heaps of deadwood, and in other places where mice and voles live.
There was, and still is, the opinion that the main food fox - hares . Of course, the Fox loves hare, but she can not catch up with the hare often - where can she keep up with such a runner.
However, Foxes do well without hare. It is estimated that in the diet of the Fox more than 300 different animals - from insects to large birds.
And still the main Fox food - rodents . They occupy 80-85% of her diet. To get enough, Fox needs to catch and eat at least two dozen mice and voles a day. And where fox feeds - and the area of its forage plot is on average 10 kilometers in diameter - rodents are much smaller than where there are no foxes.
After rains, the fox collects many earthworms. In shallow water The fox successfully fishes. , crayfish, takes out shells. It happens that there is half-eaten prey, and then the Fox hides it, pulling it to different places. Then she will certainly find and eat these stocks.
It is characteristic that, being a typical predator, the Fox with pleasure eating berries , apples, some vegetables.
Hunting fox As a rule, at dusk and at night, during the day, it can be seen only in the low-feeding period, most often in winter, and even in summer, when foxes grow.
Norami fox It is mainly used during the offspring cultivation, and the rest of the time it prefers to relax in an open place: under the roots of a twisted tree, in a ravine, on a hay pile.
Sometimes in fox behavior, actions resembling episodes from fairy tales . For example, the black grouse that gathered on the current in an open meadow, Lisa approaches surprisingly cunningly: pretending that they do not interest her at all, does not even look in their direction, sometimes lies down, snoozes, and the birds lose their vigilance, go about their business - very Fox is a good actress .
Meanwhile, the patrnkeevna will advance one meter or two towards them. Fox does not spare time on the game: sometimes an hour or two of such a performance lasts. Then a few lightning-fast jumps - and the hunt is triumphantly completed.
Not many animals are named after their first name. But the Fox is often called just that.Moreover, her patronymic is unusual - Patrikeevna. About 600 years ago, a prince by the name of Patrickey Narimuntovich lived, famous for his resourcefulness and cunning. Since then, the name Patrickei has become tantamount to the word sly. And since the Fox has long been popularly considered a beast very cunning, then as the heiress of the famous prince and received patronymic Patrikeevna.
Being a typical predator, Fox is happy to eat berries, apples, some vegetables.
Little Foxes fight pests such as May bugs well.
Foxes, or foxes, are a group of carnivorous mammals from the canine family. Systematically, these animals occupy an intermediate place between wolves and wild cats. In total, there are 18 species of foxes, the most famous of them are red fox, arctic fox and fennec.
Red fox (Vulpes vulpes).
Outwardly, foxes are more like wolves: they have an elongated, pointed muzzle, rather large pointed ears, a long fluffy tail and paws with non-retractable claws. At the same time, the pupils of foxes are upright like cats.
Big-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) with cubs. Large ears are used for thermoregulation in desert conditions.
The fur of all species of foxes is long with a thin spine and a dense undercoat. The color of most species is monophonic red, gray, brown. Often the lower body is colored lighter, and the tips of the ears and tail, on the contrary, are darker. The sizes of different species vary from 30 cm in length and weight of 1.5 kg in Fenech to 1 m in length and weight of 10 kg in red fox.
Feneki (Vulpes zerda) are also inhabitants of deserts.
Foxes are found on almost all continents except Antarctica. In Australia, these animals have not been found before, now there lives a red fox, brought to the continent by people. Foxes inhabit a variety of landscapes - coniferous and deciduous forests, tundra, steppes, mountains and deserts. Unlike canids, they lead a solitary lifestyle and never form flocks. Each animal has its own individual plot, which protects from the invasion of fellow tribesmen. Foxes live in the same territory for most of the year and leave it only in case of starvation. However, their nomads are small. The animals communicate with each other using a short bark or yapping.
Married couple of foxes.
These animals usually settle in burrows. Foxes are skillful builders and dig complex burrows with several additional exits (snouts). These exits of the fox are used for rescue when other animals (hunting dogs) enter the hole or when the hole is flooded during floods, for example. However, foxes are happy to occupy the suitable burrows of other animals. So, a large red fox often populates badger burrows, and does this even when there is a host in the hole! The badger is famous for its cleanliness, it does not tolerate the fox smell and food debris scattered around the hole, so it leaves its home and digs a new hole. Thus, the fox becomes the owner of a comfortable home.
Foxes use burrows mainly for breeding, the rest of the time they sleep in the open.
Foxes living in deserts and steppes usually go hunting at night, waiting for the heat of the day in the hole. In cooler regions, these animals can often be seen during the day. Foxes are both careful and curious. On the one hand, they are sensitive to suspicious sounds and smells (both their hearing and sense of smell are excellent), on the other hand, they often hunt in the presence of humans, approaching dwellings and roads. These animals move by jogging or mincing step, but in case of danger are able to quickly run. Red foxes are quite hardy and able to withstand the pursuit of hunters for a couple of hours. Despite their resemblance to wolves, foxes are able to ... climb trees. Of course, not all species do this, but those that live in forests. Even an ordinary red fox is able to climb gentle tree branches, and gray foxes from North America simply spend a significant part of their time there. For this they are also called wood foxes. Such abilities indicate a kinship with cats.
Red fox on a tree.
Foxes of even large species prefer to hunt small rodents and only in case of lack of this food turn their attention to other animals. On occasion, they catch hares, marmots, various birds, frogs, pick up black-backed fish and other carrion, sometimes foxes even manage to catch hedgehogs. In summer, they can eat herbaceous plants and berries. Only the smallest desert species (Fenech, large-eared fox) specialize in feeding on insects, but they are also able to catch a small lizard or ruin a bird's nest. Foxes do not attack poultry as often as is commonly thought. The method of obtaining food in these animals is intermediate between the hunting style of wolves and wild cats. On the one hand, foxes never hide and approach their prey almost openly, on the other hand, although they are trying to catch up with the prey, they are not capable of long-term persecution. When hunting rodents, the fox usually listens, thanks to a very subtle hearing it determines the position of the victim to the nearest centimeter, and then catches it with a deft jump. Moreover, the fox is able to determine the exact location of the mouse or field vole even under the snow, without seeing it.
The fox hunts for the mouse.
Reproduction in foxes occurs once a year. Gon happens in December-March. At this time, there may be several suitors around one female. If the forces are equal and none of them wants to give in voluntarily, the males get involved in a fight.
Foxes bite each other, but do not inflict severe injuries.
Most often, the same male living in the neighborhood mates with the female. Thus, fox pairs are almost constant, but not as stable as wolves. A married couple does not communicate all year round and breaks up a couple of months after whelping. Pregnancy lasts about two months. The female gives birth in a hole 2-7 foxes. The first time the kids spend in the den, in case of danger, the mother transfers them to another hole. They feed on milk for 1.5 months, then gradually switch to adult food.
Like wolves, foxes feed cubs while standing.
Mother brings them wounded animals and the kids learn to hunt. During this period they are very playful and curious. Finally, the families break up by the fall and the young begin an independent life.
Foxes are exploring the surroundings.
The enemies of different types of foxes are mainly food competitors - wolves, lynxes, hyenas. The number of northern species strongly depends on the abundance of food; in years with a small number of rodents and hares, foxes often die of starvation. In southern species, the population is more stable.
Red fox in winter.
Such species of foxes as red fox, corsac, arctic fox are famous for the quality of their fur and have long been an object of hunting. They are obtained in various ways - by tracing (tracing in the wake), bullying by hounds, burrows or greyhounds, using traps. Until now, in England, as an old tradition, the equestrian hunt for foxes, which used to be the lot of the nobility, has been preserved. This gambling activity brings together several dozen hunters, beaters, each of whom has his own pack of dogs and a couple of spare horses. All this cavalcade goes to the forest to poison one fox all day. By the way, foxes steadfastly withstand the pursuit, not only running fast, but also taking on various tricks to confuse the tracks.
The fox escapes from the chase.
Specially for fox hunting, several breeds of hunting dogs were bred - beagle, fox terrier, foxhound. There is no particular economic sense in modern fox hunting since these animals are domesticated and successfully bred in animal farms. The red fox has several color forms not known in nature (platinum foxes).
In 1959, D. K. Belyaev, director of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, began a long-term experiment on the domestication of silver-black foxes. In the course of the experiment, only individuals most friendly to humans were selected for reproduction. The result of the experiment was the creation of a population of domesticated silver-black foxes that have differences from their wild ancestors in physiology, morphology and behavior.The result was a population of domesticated foxes, some representatives of which show signs absent in the original population: a curved tail, a change in the color of the coat (the appearance of white spotting), a change in the proportions of the skull, in some puppies, drooping ears are noticeable at an early age. There has been a change in the seasonality of reproduction. There are changes in various systems, including neuroendocrine. The quality of the fur deteriorated. This project is a model of the microevolutionary process and is being conducted for research purposes.
- In ancient times, fox skins were the equivalent of banknotes.
- Foxes are very intelligent and cunning animals, often confusing hunting dogs chasing them.
- The fox received the nickname "Patrikeevna" on behalf of the Novgorod prince Patrikey, who was famous at the time for his cunning and resourcefulness in conducting business.
- The image of the fox is widely used in folklore and literature of different countries. In most of them, the animal is a symbol of cunning. However, in ancient Mesopotamia, the fox was a sacred animal, and in Japan it was considered a werewolf.
- The most famous works in which the fox is one of the main characters are the poem of the end of the 12th century, The Roman about the Fox, the tale of Carlo Collodi, The Adventures of Pinocchio, and The Little Prince, written by the famous Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
- The fox's hearing is so perfect that it can hear the squeak of a field mouse at a distance of 100 m.
- During the meal, the fox gnaws the meat into small pieces and swallows them without chewing.
- The image of a little fox from the look of Fenech is the logo of the Firefox multimedia product line.
- A maned wolf is very similar to a fox, but does not belong to the genus of foxes. In addition, he does not have a characteristic feature of the fox - a vertical pupil.
- https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinary_Fox# Reproduction https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox
From the arctic zone to the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The fox was acclimatized in Australia and spread throughout the continent, with the exception of some northern regions with a humid subequatorial climate.
It was previously believed that a separate species of foxes lives in America, but recently it has been considered as a subspecies of the red fox.
Fox with prey
The fox, although it belongs to typical predators, feeds on very diverse feeds. Among the food she eats, more than 400 species of animals alone have been identified, not counting dozens of plant species. Everywhere, the basis of its nutrition is small rodents, mainly voles. You can even say that the state of the population of this predator depends to a large extent on the sufficiency of their number and availability. This especially applies to the winter period, when the fox lives primarily by hunting field mice: the animal, smelling the rodent under the snow cover, listens to his squeak, and then dives quickly under the snow, or scatters it in its paws, trying to catch prey. This method of hunting is called mouse .
The species is very rich in a variety of subspecies. There are more than 40 of them, with this variety the appearance of the Red Fox is second only to the wolf, the progenitor of a domestic dog and shows an amazing adaptive ability to survive in the process of evolution and life of this amazing omnivorous animal:
- Vulpes vulpes abietorum
- Vulpes vulpes aeygptica
- Vulpes vulpes alascensis
- Vulpes vulpes alpherakyi
- Vulpes vulpes alticola
- Vulpes vulpes anatolica
- Vulpes vulpes arabica
- Vulpes vulpes atlantica
- Vulpes vulpes barbaras
- Vulpes vulpes beringiana
- Vulpes vulpes cascadensis
- Vulpes vulpes caucasica
- Vulpes vulpes crucigera
- Vulpes vulpes daurica
- Vulpes vulpes diluta
- Vulpes vulpes dolichocrania
- Vulpes vulpes dorsalis
- Vulpes vulpes flavescens
- Vulpes vulpes fulva
- Vulpes vulpes griffithi
- Vulpes vulpes harrimani
- Vulpes vulpes hoole
- Vulpes vulpes ichnusae
- Vulpes vulpes induta
- Vulpes vulpes jakutensis
- Vulpes vulpes japonica
- Vulpes vulpes karagan
- Vulpes vulpes kenaiensis
- Vulpes vulpes krimeamontana
- Vulpes vulpes kurdistanica
- Vulpes vulpes macroura
- Vulpes vulpes montana
- Vulpes vulpes necator
- Vulpes vulpes ochroxanta
- Vulpes vulpes palaestina
- Vulpes vulpes peculiosa
- Vulpes vulpes pusilla
- Vulpes vulpes regalis
- Vulpes vulpes rubricosa
- Vulpes vulpes schrencki
- Vulpes vulpes silacea
- Vulpes vulpessplendidissima
- Vulpes vulpes stepensis
- Vulpes vulpes tobolica
- Vulpes vulpes tschiliensis
Reflection in art
The red fox is a very common character of folklore from around the world. In European countries, as a rule, it embodies cunning and cunning, speaking in quite a variety of roles: from treacherous villains (as in a number of Russian fairy tales) to smart advisers (As in the fairy tale of Boris Shergin Poig and the fox). One of the most famous fox characters is Fox Renard - a character from the classic medieval poem Roman of the Fox.
In Mesopotamian mythology, the fox is a sacred animal. She serves the goddess Ki as a messenger.In Finland, the fox is a symbol of cunning, but not evil.
In Japanese mythology, there are kitsune werewolf foxes that can take on a human form. They have great knowledge and magic. Kitsune later became popular in literature, movies, and video games. Spirits similar to kitsune also appear in Chinese and Korean myths.
- 1100 - Medieval poem "The novel about the fox"
- 1793 - “Reinecke-lis” by I. V. Goethe
- 1879 - “Brother Fox and Brother Rabbit. From the Tales of Uncle Remus »Joel Chandler Harris
- 1883 - The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi: The Fox, one of the negative characters
- 1905 - The Red Fox by Charles Roberts: On the Life of a Fox from the Wilder Forests of Eastern Canada
- 1909 - "Domino" E. Seton-Thompson: about the adventures of a fox named Domino
- 1935 - The Golden Key, or The Adventures of Pinocchio by Alexei Tolstoy: Fox Alice
- 1943 - The Little Prince A.-E. Exupery. Fox has become a classic about taming.
- 1965 - “Tutta Carlson the first and only, Ludwig the Fourteenth and others” by Jan Ekholm: on the friendship of the fox Ludwig and the chicken Tutta Carlson
- 1965 - "The Fox Wook" by Istvan Fekete
- 1967 - The Fox and the Hunting Dog by Daniel Pratt Mannix
- 1970 - The Peerless Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl: Mr. Fox, Mrs. Fox and Their Children
- 1989 - Harry Kilworth's “Lunar Beast”: About the Life of a Fox, Oh
- 2001 - The Case of the Fox-Werewolves by Holm van Zaichik: An Alternative Story with Elements of Mysticism
- 2004 - The Holy Book of the Werewolf V. Pelevin: About the Werewolf A Hooley
- 1937 - “Reinecke Fox” directed by Vladislav Starevich: based on the poem of the same name by I.V. Goethe
- 1973 - “Robin Hood” at Disney Studios: Robin Hood and Maid Marian
- 1978 - “The Poig and the Fox”: Based on the Tales of B. Shchergin
- 1980 - How Foxes Made Friends with Chickens
- 1981 - “Vuk”: based on the tale of I. Fekete about an orphaned fox
- 1981 - Fox and the Hunting Dog at Disney Studios: Fox Tod and his girlfriend Vixie. Based on the book of the same name by Daniel Pratt Mannix
- 1984 - "Pillow for the Sun": the fox Alice and her grandmother
- 1986 - “A Winter Story”: Welsh cartoon about fox Mick and his parents
- 1986 - “Wonderful Forest”: one of the characters in the cartoon is the fox Lily. Based on the book of Sunchan Shkrynyarich
- 1987 - "Abduction in Tuturlistan": the fox Khitrunya - one of the main characters
- 1989-1993 - "The Fox": a series of Soviet cartoons about the fox and his friends
- 1992-1995 - “The Animals of Farthing Wood”: Fox and Fox and their Cubs
- 1999 - Foxbusters: a fox tribe led by King the Gluttonous.
- 1995 - “The Incredible Adventures of the Dwarves”: the fox is a friend of the main character of the gnome David
- 2003 - “Cunning Little Vixen”: based on the opera by Leoš Janáček “Příhody lišky bystroušky” (The Adventures of the Cheat Fox)
- 2005 - Fox Renard, directed by Thierry Schiel: based on the medieval Fox novel
- 2006 - “Autumn Full Moon Night”: Based on Japanese Tales. The Story of the Fox and the Badger
- 2009 - “Peerless Mr. Fox”: Mr. Fox, Mrs. Fox, their son, and nephew
- 1975 - "The Adventures of Pinocchio": film adaptation of the tale of Alexei Tolstoy
- 1984 - “Honest Redhead”: Based on the Tale of Jan Ekholm
- 2005 - “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” - Mr. Lees
- 2006 - "Fox Helen"
- 1923 - “The Adventures of Cheat Foxes” (Czech: Příhody lišky bystroušky): opera by Leos Janacek about the life of the fox Ostrushki
A fox happens only in fairy tales, it is necessary to say correctly - a fox, but most hunters still use the first name. Also, males are often called foxes.
The fox is a very dexterous, quick-witted, cunning animal with a slender and beautiful, elongated body and a long magnificent tail. Her muzzle is long and sharp. The body length of adults is 50-90cm, the tail is long and makes up more than half of the body - 35-60cm. The average weight is 4-6kg. Females are slightly lighter and smaller than males.
Foxes living in the central and northern regions of the country are dressed in winter in long, thick, soft, silky and magnificent fur. They are larger and brighter in color. The animals inhabiting the southern regions are distinguished by a rare, rough and short cover, painted in dull colors. Against the background of their northern counterparts, they look more slender and tall, their ears are higher and wider at the base.
The following subspecies are distinguished from the common fox in our country: Central Russian fox, forest-steppe, steppe, North Caucasian, Anadyr, Yakut, Transbaikal and Tobolsk
The general color is from bright red to grayish-brown in color, with a cross-shaped pattern on the back of various sharpness. The chest and stomach are usually white, the back of the ears is black, and the tip of the tail is always white.
However, in connection with a very wide range and, as a result, completely different climatic conditions of habitat, its geographical and individual variability is pronounced.
According to the type of coloring, the following types are distinguished:
- a cross,
- black and brown.
For a detailed description of the skins, see the article ""
Habitats and abundance
It inhabits almost the entire territory of our country, except for the regions of the northern tundra and the islands of the Polar basin, where it is replaced by the Arctic fox.
They are well adapted to the most diverse living conditions, they can be found in the mountains, taiga, tundra, steppe and in the desert. But in all areas they prefer open and half-open spaces.
In the tundra and forest-tundra adhere to forests in river valleys and near lakes. In the zone of deep taiga, the predator is rare in large forests, with an abundance of swamps and the absence of meadows and valleys, it avoids such biotopes due to the deep loose snow that persists for a long time. The best habitats can be considered the central and southern regions of Russia, where small areas of forest are interspersed with numerous ravines, rivers, fields and meadows.
In autumn and winter, foxes spend most of their time in open areas; in spring and summer, during the breeding season, they go to remote places.
The number of animals in the country is quite large. Population density directly depends on the quality of the land and the availability of feed. It is rare in permafrost regions and in forests with long and deep snow cover - the northern regions of the European part of Russia and the taiga zone of Siberia. In the middle lane, the number of animals is relatively high. The highest density is observed in the southern regions, this is due to the short winter, the abundance and availability of feed almost all year round, favorable conditions for mating.
Its habitat area is approximately 5-10km in circumference. Its value depends on the quality of the land, its nutrition, as well as the time of year. In the summer, when the feed is plentiful and varied, the site is reduced. In winter, with a deterioration in the availability of food, it increases.
Often, a fox, especially in lean years to feed, comes close to housing
In the middle lane, foxes settle in burrows, sometimes they dig them themselves, but, as a rule, they occupy badgers. It is not difficult to determine who owns the dwelling: if a badger lives in a hole, then it’s clean near it, if it is a fox, you can observe numerous heaps of litter and food leftovers around. In the absence of a finished hole, you have to dig it yourself. To do this, the beast chooses the slopes of ravines, cliffs with sandy soil, and sometimes makes shelter in abandoned houses and sheds.
Fox holes can be divided into two types: brood and temporary. The latter have a short straight course ending in a small cave or even settle under the roots of trees and in the rubble. Broods are more complex, the main course is longer and may have several branches. The nesting chamber is lined with leaves and grass.
Lifestyle and habits
At the end of winter, foxes begin to race, at this time you can watch the so-called "fox weddings" - several males go for one female. After the rut, having found a hole for herself, the female leads a secretive lifestyle and spends most of her time in the hole. Pregnancy lasts 50-52 days. The brood consists of an average of 4-6 foxes. They are born blind, toothless and covered with plump hair. Lactation lasts 6-7 weeks. The foxes ripen on the 13-14th day, teeth appear a little later. At the age of one month, they begin to leave the hole and gradually switch to feed brought by their parents. At first, the male brings the food to the female, but as the foxes grow, he appears less and less at the brood hole.
In the first months of life, foxes look short-legged and large-headed and look like wolf cubs. The main difference of foxes is the white tip of the tail. At the age of three months, the offspring begins to accompany the mother and quickly learns to recognize enemies and find food. Proportions of adult animals are achieved after six months of life.
Closer to fall, the family breaks up, and young animals become independent.
The fox is a predator, and omnivorous. The hunting objects of this animal are very diverse. The main food is mouse-like rodents, most often various types of gray voles. Other types of feed are eaten much less. Whenever possible, food can be hares, upland and waterfowl, small birds and their eggs. Sometimes it eats snakes, lizards, frogs, fish, insects, plant foods. In some cases, carrion also eats domestic animals - cats and hens.
The beast is very plastic in terms of nutrition. With a lack of one feed, it replaces it with another, more affordable and plentiful.
However, despite the extensive list of feeds, small rodents still play the main role everywhere. In winter, when the redhead happens to hunt in the evening, you can watch how she deftly catches them. The mocking fox slowly walks around the field, but, suddenly freezing, jumps high and quickly begins to dig up snow.
Prefers to hunt alone, but sometimes on one field you can observe several individuals at the same time.
During the search for food, the beast is guided mainly by rumor: for 100 meters she hears the squeak of a mouse, for 500 meters the noise from the flying black grouse. The fox has good vision, but it mainly responds to movement. Her flair is also excellent.
It is active mainly in the morning and evening hours. In those places where the beast is little disturbed, it can hunt during the day. Most of the time rests during the day and a little at night.
In late summer and early fall, the family usually leaves the brood hole and leads a wandering lifestyle. At this time, the foxes are kept with their mother, they use empty burrows as shelters. In late autumn, the brood decays completely, and young animals begin an independent life.
In winter, foxes often rest on their beds, climb into burrows only in case of danger and in severe frosts
Her track at first glance looks like a dog, but looking at it closely, you can see that he is already slimmer in the fox. Also a characteristic difference from related species is the almost correct line of the trace chain, which the beast leaves when moving in steps or trot. The female’s footprint is smaller, narrower and sharper, and the step is shorter than that of males.
It moves mainly light trot, in this case the distance between the tracks is 20-30cm. In case of danger, he switches to a gallop or quarry, while doing so he can make jumps up to several meters long.
In a snowless period, the presence of the beast can be determined by the paw prints on the moist soil and the bark that they publish. In winter, you can see the most complete picture of fox activity.
Patterns of its tracks are common along the edges of the forest, ravines, in meadows and fields. During the hunt, the chain of tracks of the fox quite often changes direction, without her attention there is not a single object protruding from under the snow, be it a hump, a bunch of grass, a bush or a haystack. Often, especially in deep snow, the animal moves in the land using roads and ski tracks.
She loves to climb various elevations and to inspect the area from them.
After mocking, she leaves holes in the snow with the remains of the earth through which she caught mice.
Having hunted, the fox goes to a bed, which is arranged under a bush, near a bump, usually on a hill, haystacks or straw huts and in a forest under a spruce.
The beast sleeps curled up and hides its nose in the tail. An empty bed is a round hole, the snow in it does not thaw.
At the end of winter, when fox weddings take place, on the snow you can see several chains of tracks nearby right away.
Enemies have a little foxes.Of the carnivorous mammals, the greatest danger to her is, sometimes lynx and wolverine attack. Of the birds - large predators: eagles and eagles, and more often their prey become foxes.
Animals living near human housing may be at risk from stray dogs.
Competitors for feed are all species of the family marten and canine.
Animals in nature are susceptible to various diseases. The most common is rabies. Other known diseases include neuroviral disease, carnivore plague, leptospirosis. In some years, they become infected with a large number of fleas and ticks, the latter causing scabies.
Outbreaks of epizootics causing mass death of animals occur due to an increase in the number of foxes, against the background of the mass reproduction of mice, and then their disappearance.
Life expectancy in captivity can reach up to 20-25 years, in nature they live much less, usually no more than 5-6 years.
Value and Hunt
The fox is a valuable fur-bearing animal. At the end of the 19th century, more than a hundred of them were mined annually in Russia. In the Soviet Union after the war, the procurement of its skins occupied the fourth place and amounted to about half a million pieces annually. The largest number is currently being mined and mined in the southern regions, there are few pelts coming from the northern regions, but they are estimated to be much more expensive.
In addition to valuable fur, it brings tangible benefits, destroying small rodents. In one year, she alone can eat up to 3,000 voles and mice.
The percentage of getting her useful commercial animals and birds is not large.
The greatest danger is the transfer of some infectious diseases, especially rabies, by the fox.
There are a lot of ways to hunt for it, the most popular are the following:
hunting with burrow dogs,
- hunting from the approach,