An ordinary fox (or red fox) is a predatory mammal belonging to the Canine family. It is the most common and largest fox species. The size of these animals does not inspire much fear, since the size of a fox is usually with a small dog. The length of their body ranges from 60 to 90 cm, and the length of the legendary tail does not exceed 60 cm. The redhead cheat weighs from 6 to 9 kg.
Where is it spread?
At present, the habitat of this red predator is extensive. Fox is common 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 redhead was artificially acclimatized by a man in Australia! Since then, these animals have spread almost throughout the small continent. We will tell you more about settling foxes of various localities when we talk about their ecology.
How she looks like?
The fox is an ordinary one, the description of which we 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 fox's breast is white, and black “boots” are clearly visible at the ends of the paws. The muzzle, like all Dogs, is elongated. A special charm to this creature gives intelligent eyes, like a cat. Her legendary tail is fluffy and long. He 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, the fox ordinary living in the northern territories (the photo is given in the article) is larger than its fellows, and its fur is lighter. In turn, closer to the south you can meet small foxes with dull fur. However, its most popular color is a bright red, not for nothing that she was nicknamed red cheat!
What does she eat?
Mostly red foxes prefer open meadow areas where you can catch mice, voles, 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 voles. The common fox regulates the number of mouse-like rodents.
Hares are of secondary importance in the fox's food chain, but in some cases, cheats are purposefully engaged in catching rabbits and hares. During the so-called hare-like morass, foxes can become scavengers and eat their corpses. Birds play a smaller role in feeding the red beast, but on occasion it will not miss its chance! Foxes love to devastate the laying of bird eggs, steal domestic chickens, geese, etc.
Incidentally, these animals, although they belong to the order of predatory, but do not disdain and vegetable feed. An ordinary fox eats various berries (strawberries, blueberries, cherries), apples and grapes with pleasure. In times of hunger, these animals eat oats, causing significant damage to crops.
How does she hunt?
The main hunt of the common fox is catching voles. This process even got its name - the little mouse. So she voys the mouse: having sensed under the dense snow cover of the rodent, the beast first begins to listen carefully to his squeaks, jumps and rustles, and then dives under the snow! Sometimes the fox can quickly and deftly throw the snow in different directions, trying to catch a vole. And she succeeds.
Usually red foxes live in couples, in rare cases - families. Their dwelling is nothing but an ordinary burrow. They can dig their own burrows for themselves or occupy someone else’s (eg, fox, badger, marmot). Fox houses will not be found anywhere: an individual plot must not only provide its inhabitants with a normal amount of food, but also be located in a suitable place. These places are often all kinds of hillsides or ravines.
Fox holes usually have several entrances leading through long tunnels into the main chamber, the nesting site. Often these animals are chosen and, accordingly, they set up 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 a lot of mice. In the wild, these animals live only to 7 years, but more often their life expectancy does not exceed 3 years. It is noticed that in captivity they can easily live a quarter of a century.
The ecology of the red fox
As mentioned above, the ecology of this red beast is very extensive. The color of the fox and its size are directly related to the habitat of the beast and certain factors causing the fox to exist in certain territories. The red-haired cheat with different densities populates all the landscape-geographical zones existing in the world: these are tundras, sub-arctic forests, steppes, deserts, and even mountain ranges in all climatic zones.
Whatever the habitat of the fox ordinary, it still gives preference to open areas and areas that have ravines, groves, hills and coppices. This is explained by the fact that in winter the snow cover in such places is not too deep, but loose. This allows foxes to easily engage in their usual business - the mouse. You already know what it is.
The fox ordinary, as a rule, is sedentary. In most regions of the globe, no migrations are characteristic of these animals. The inhabitants of mountains, tundras and deserts migrate mainly. Young animals in this case leaves the “parental home”, moving up to 30 km from it.
Fox ordinary. Subspecies description
This type of fox is rich in its various subspecies. In total, there are more than 40 of them. Scientists have calculated that with their variety of subspecies these cheats are second only to the progenitor of domestic dogs, the wolf. From time immemorial fox has demonstrated an amazing ability to survive. Perhaps it is for this reason that the classification of the red fox is so rich. So, the most popular of its subspecies are recognized:
- European forest,
- European steppe,
Like their wolves, red foxes are monogamous animals. They multiply 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, such as weather conditions. Often it happens that more than 50% of female foxes over the years cannot bring new offspring.
Zoologists note that the red fox copes with its parental responsibilities. For example, males not only actively raise their offspring, but also take care of females. Foxes-parents diligently arrange their holes and, like primates, catch fleas on each other. If one of the parents dies, another individual of the corresponding sex takes his place.
How does it look
The common or red fox is a medium-sized animal with an elongated graceful slender body, relatively short legs, an elongated muzzle, sharp ears and a long fluffy tail. The length of the body is 60–90 cm, the tail - 33–60 cm, weight - 2, 2–10 kg.
The body of the fox is subtle, graceful, very beautiful, ending with a large, fluffy tail. Legs are short, very small. The fur is thick and soft, most often of red color. But there are also foxes with a dark orange, light black, silver and brown color. Twice a year, the fox molts. Summer fur is much rarer and shorter, winter fur is thicker and lush.
To obtain the fur, foxes are specially bred in captivity. At the end of the 19th century, a breed of silver-black (black brown) foxes was artificially bred. Then, on its basis, a number of other breeds were bred: platinum, bakurian, dacotan and others.
In our country, at one time, an experiment was conducted on the domestication of foxes: only foxes, the most benevolent to humans, were selected for reproduction. The result was a “state farm fox”, which almost lost its foxish appearance: its tail was bent, a bulging forehead and drooping ears appeared. At the same time, the quality of fur has deteriorated in foxes.
Red Fox (Fox)
The fox is the main character in many fairy tales, it is always spoken of as a clever thief with a beautiful fur coat and a fluffy tail. Why is the fox called cunning? Is she really like this, or only in fairy tales?
The red fox belongs to the Canine family. She has sharp ears and an elongated muzzle. And this beast has an unusually beautiful long-haired fur and a long fluffy tail, which serves as a “blanket” for the front paws and nose while the fox is resting.
The size of this animal is medium: the length of the body is no more than 90 centimeters, and the tail is 40 to 60 cm. The animal weighs from 6 to 10 kilograms. The age to which a fox lives in the wild is no more than 7 years old.
In red foxes, the tip of the tail is painted white, and the paws have black patches.
Red fox trying to jump over the hole
In nature, an ordinary fox has different colors of wool, but on the farms where foxes are brought out, there are representatives of platinum color and silver-black. Such rare colors are valued among hunters, so if a fox that escaped from a fur farm gets into the hunter’s sight, it will not stop until it catches it.
Red Fox Habitat
This type of fox lives on almost the entire planet, except, perhaps, the arctic tundras and islands. Red fox can be found all over the Eurasian continent, in North America, the northern part of the African continent and even in Australia.
Foxes are excellent swimmers. By the way, they can even dive shallowly, hunting for fish.
What eats red fox
A fox is a predatory animal, so a variety of small animals can get to its “dining table”. Mostly, this - rodents. Also, foxes eat birds, fish (on spawning rivers), carrion, insects and berries.
Ways of fox hunting are very interesting, it can adapt to the habits of any animal that it “looked after” as food. For example, a hedgehog, it can push right into the water so that it turns around, and it can be grasped by the abdomen, on which there are no needles. When hunting wild geese, then foxes prefer to act in pairs: one distracts the flock, the other at this time sneaks up and in one jump attacks the prey. And rodents it easily digs out from under the snow, finding a place by the sound. Still, it’s not for nothing that foxes are thought of as cunning animals - what ways can they invent to get food for themselves!
Fox "mouse" - hunting for the mouse under the thickness of snow
Hunting takes place around the clock, although the most successful time is twilight.
In general, the fox can be called an omnivorous animal. Its “menu” includes almost 400 species of various animals and dozens of plant food types. Scientists have concluded that the population of red foxes directly depends on the number of rodents (especially field mice), since mice are the main fox food.
Listen to the fox's voice
Many people know foxes as abductors of poultry. Very often, a fox sneaks into a place to sleep chickens and steals them. Although birds are not considered the main food of the red fox, the animal often eats them. In addition to chickens, the fox loves the meat of wood grouse, geese and other birds.
The foxes that live in the deserts have to be content with the meat of reptiles. If there is a shallow river with fish nearby, then the fox will certainly come there to feast on, for example, salmon. In the summer months, the animal eats beetles and other insects.
Pup in a hole waiting for mother
Herbal food is of little interest to the fox, but in the absence of meat feed, the fox will be pleased with fruit and berries, as well as any greens.
Does a red fox have enemies in nature
The main rivals and enemies of foxes are wolves and other large predatory animals. But the main fighters of the fox population were and remain people. For the sake of chic fur, hunters kill a huge number of individuals, and this has irreversible consequences for the fox population.
There are many species of foxes in nature, including polar fox.