The fox is a very beautiful predator with a long bushy tail. Her muzzle is long and narrow, and her eyes are very tricky. In size, this predator resembles a dog. Fox color varies from fiery red to gray. In the steppe it is gray-yellow, and in the north it is almost red. A silver fox is a common fox with slight deviations from the usual color. The fur of these animals is considered the most beautiful, so they have long been bred on farms.
Where does this predatory beast live? Fox lives in Asia, America, Europe and even in Africa. She perfectly adapts to various conditions. Fox is a cunning animal. She can indulge in various tricks to get herself a living.
And what fox eats? Although she is a predator, her diet includes a variety of foods. Of course, meat is the basis of its nutrition.
Note that the list of food of this animal includes more than 350 varieties of small mammals, various rodents (especially from the family of the voles) and birds.
Fox winter ration
What does the fox eat in winter and how does it catch its prey? According to research by experts, the largest population of foxes lives where there is a large number of vole representatives. Such rodents for them are the most accessible type of food, especially in the winter season, when it is most difficult to get food.
Hunting foxes on field mice is a very interesting process. Fox moves quietly through the snow, listening to the squeak of his potential victim. Having sensed the rodent and calculating its location, he rapidly dives into the snow with his nose, helping himself to reach the prey with his paws.
The main role in this matter is assigned to the factor of surprise, because the mouse, despite its excellent hearing, cannot always foresee what a fox will appear, with the result that it does not have time to hide from the predator's teeth.
Recently, zoologists have come up with a term that characterizes this process, mouse muscle.
A fox in the forest in the winter bypasses the forest plantations in search of fallen birds, the banks of reservoirs, and it also does not squeeze waste and carrion.
In their natural habitat, the fox's food base is hares, the aforementioned mice and other small rodents. In addition, this predator with great pleasure regulates the bird. The ability to fly avoids the teeth and claws of the fox. At risk are eggs and chicks that have not yet learned to flutter like their parents.
The fox’s prey can be either a small bird, or a large, for example, wood grouse or wild goose. The main helper of the predator in search of food is her sensitive nose, which smells like a rodent or other prey at sufficiently large distances.
Some foxes, despite the fact that they fear human habitats (villages, etc.), still decide to visit the chicken coops in the settlements located near the forest. At night or in the late evening, they penetrate the barn, grab, for example, the chicken by the throat and swiftly carry it to the forest.
Of course, predators rarely decide on such a dangerous maneuver, as a rule, this happens in the winter, when it is very difficult to get food.
What fox eats in the forest? Hares. These animals occupy an important place in the fox's diet. Of course, the easiest prey is the hares, who have not yet learned how to develop sufficient speed in an attempt to escape from the predatory beast. Fox, finding a hare hole, can immediately destroy all litter.
Do not disdain these predators and the corpses of rodents in the case of the hare mora. Some representatives are not afraid to attack even larger animals, for example, roe deer.
The diet of predators in the desert
What feeds a fox that lives in desert and half-empty zones? The basis of the diet are reptiles (non-venomous snakes, lizards and others). In Canada, in the northeastern part of it, zoologists have repeatedly observed how foxes caught fish from the salmon family from water bodies, although not alive, but dead. In the summer, these predators with great pleasure can eat large bugs, larvae and other insects. After the rain, they collect earthworms.
Food in the taiga
What fox eats in the taiga? In such places, the predator is very difficult to survive, as there is little prey. In the tundra zone, the predator eats passerines, grouse, and less frequently duck birds. In addition, the red-haired cheat hunts on small rodents. As a rule, few foxes live in the taiga, as it is difficult to survive here. These predators prefer to settle in the steppe zone in open places, plains and in ravines.
What fox eats, in addition to all of the above? Plant food is also present in the diet of these animals. As a rule, those red predators who live in the southern regions consume it. They prefer berries (especially blueberries, lingonberries) and fruits, as well as some vegetative parts of edible plants.
Note that this food is rather an addition to the main diet, it will never become the main dish in the diet, because the fox is a predator by nature, which means a meat eater.
What fox eats in the spring-summer period?
At this time of year, foxes especially need good nutrition and large numbers of prey. After all, now in their care are young. By the end of March, babies are born after an eight-month pregnancy. As a rule, five or six little foxes are born. The first 1.5 months, the young feed on mother's milk. At the age of two weeks, the babies already see, then a period of rapid development begins, by the end of April or the beginning of May, they crawl out of the hole, play with each other, and the charter, fit on the grass and lie quietly, soaking up the sun. At the same time, parents teach little foxes to regular food, they bring live prey, so that the young ones feel the excitement of hunting for such food.
Caring for the offspring can push the fox to attack the large beast, which is difficult to overcome. Scientists have documented cases when this predatory beast has bitten a swan.
The fox very often comes up with very original ways of getting food. For example, it was noticed that the predators at a safe distance follow the tractor plow, which opens the field at night. It turned out that the foxes caught the voles in such a way, whose burrows opened up during the plowing process. With the accidental death of this predator (the animal fell under a plow), people saw in its stomach as many as sixteen rodents. This observation has allowed scientists to conclude that rodents are the basis of the fox's diet.
Feeding foxes at home
Wild fox can der reap and at home, but for this it is necessary to create special conditions for it, as well as to ensure proper nutrition. The best option to keep such a predator is an open-air cage in which there will be a house for rest and sleep of the beast. Now let's talk about feeding.
Although the fox is an omnivorous animal, but at home it is better to feed it with high-quality dog food, and to supplement such a diet with fruits and berries.
Now you know what a fox feeds on in the winter, spring, and at other times of the year. We also reviewed the diet of this predator in the taiga and the forest. As you can see, fox feeding in the wild, as a rule, depends on its habitat. Although always the basis of its diet are small mammals, and plant food and insects serve only as a supplement.
Fox (fox): description, characteristics, photos
Depending on the species, fox sizes range from 18 cm (at the fenech) to 90 cm, and the fox weighs from 0.7 kg (at the fenek) to 10 kg. Foxes have a characteristic generic sign - a slender elongated body with rather short limbs, a slightly elongated face and tail.
The fox's fluffy tail serves as a kind of stabilizer during the run, and in the winter cold it is used for additional protection against frost.
The length of the fox tail depends on the species. At fenek, it reaches 20-30 cm. The tail length of an ordinary fox is 40-60 cm.
Foxes rely more on touch and smell than on sight. They have a sensitive sense of smell and excellent hearing.
Their ears are rather large, triangular, slightly elongated, with a sharp tip. The largest ears are in a fennec (up to 15 cm in height) and a large fox (up to 13 cm in height).
Fox with big ears (fenek)
Animal vision, adapted for nocturnal lifestyle, allows members of the genus to respond well to movement, but the structure of the fox eye with vertical pupils is not suitable for color recognition.
In total, the fox has 42 teeth, except for a large-eared fox, in which 48 teeth grow.
The density and length of the hair of these predators depends on the season and climatic conditions. In winter and in areas with harsh weather conditions, the fox fur becomes thick and fluffy, in summer the fluffiness and length of the coat decreases.
The color of the fox may be sandy, red, yellowish, brown with black or white markings. In some species, the color of the fur may be almost white or black-brown. In northern latitudes, foxes are larger and lighter in color, in southern countries foxes are dimmer and sizes of animals are smaller.
When pursuing a victim or in case of danger, the fox is capable of speeds up to 50 km / h. During the mating season, foxes can make barking sounds.
The life of a fox in natural conditions varies from 3 to 10 years, but the fox lives in captivity up to the age of 25 years.
In the canine family (wolf, dog) there are several genera, which include different types of foxes:
- Maikongi (lat. Cerdocyon)
- Maikong, savanna fox (lat. Cerdocyon thous)
- Small foxes (lat. Atelocynus)
- Small fox (lat. Atelocynus microtis)
- Bigger foxes (lat. Otocyon)
- Big eared fox (lat. Otocyon megalotis)
- South American foxes (lat. Lycalopex)
- Andean fox (lat. Lycalopex culpaeus)
- South American Fox (Lat. Lycalopex griseus)
- Darwin fox (lat. Lycalopex fulvipes)
- Paraguay fox (lat. Lycalopex gymnocercus)
- Brazilian fox (lat. Lycalopex vetulus)
- Sekuranskaya fox (lat. Lycalopex sechurae)
- Gray foxes (lat. Urocyon)
- Gray fox (lat. Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
- Island fox (lat. Urocyon littoralis)
- Foxes (lat. Vulpes)
- Common or red fox (lat. Vulpes vulpes)
- American Fox (Lat. Tulips macrotis)
- Afghan fox (lat. Tulips cana)
- African fox (lat. Vulpes pallida)
- Bengal fox (Indian) (Latin Tulips bengalensis)
- Korsak, steppe fox (lat. Tulip corsac)
- American Corsac (lat. Tulip velox)
- Sand Fox (lat. Vulpes rueppelli)
- Tibetan fox (lat. Vulpes ferrilata)
- Fenech (lat. Tulips zerda, Fennecus zerda)
- South African fox (lat. Tulips chama)
Fox species, names and photos
The following is a brief description of several varieties of foxes:
- Common fox (red fox) (lat. Vulpes vulpes)
The largest member of the fox genus. The fox weighs up to 10 kilograms, and the length of the body, along with the tail, is 150 cm. Depending on the area of residence, the fox colors may differ somewhat in tonal richness, but the main color of the back and sides remains bright red and the belly is white. Black stockings can be clearly seen on the legs. A characteristic feature of the common fox is the white tip of the tail and dark, almost black ears.
Habitat includes all of Europe, the territory of North Africa, Asia (from India to Southern China), North America and Australia.
Representatives of this species of foxes are happy to eat field mice, rabbits, and young roe deer; at a convenient opportunity they ruin nests of geese and wood grouse, feed on carrion, beetles and insect larvae. Surprisingly, the red fox is a fierce fighter of oat crops: in the absence of the meat menu, it attacks the cereal farmland, causing damage to it.
- American Fox (Lat.Vulpesmacrotis)
A predatory mammal of medium size. The length of the fox's body 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 (for the female) - 2.2 kg (for the 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 the white belly and the black tip of the tail. The lateral surface of the muzzle and the sensitive whiskers are dark brown or black. The hair length of the fur cover does not exceed 50 mm.
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 Dog family. The length of the fox does not exceed 0.5 meters. The length of the tail is 33-41 cm. The weight of a fox ranges from 1.5 to 3 kilograms. The Bukhara Fox differs from other fox species by its rather large ears, whose height reaches 9 cm, and dark stripes running from the upper lip to the corners of the eyes. In winter, the color of the fox's hair on the back and sides acquires a rich brownish-gray color with individual black guard hairs. In the summer, its intensity decreases, and the whitish color of the throat, breast and abdomen remains unchanged. The Afghan fox has no hair on the surface of the paw pads, protecting other desert foxes from red-hot sand.
The main habitat of the fox is eastern Iran, the territory of Afghanistan and Hindustan. Rarely found in Egypt, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan. The Afghan fox is an omnivorous animal. With the appetite absorbs locusts, mice and gophers, does not refuse the vegetarian menu.
- African fox(lat. Vulpes pallida)
It has an appearance similar to a red fox (lat. Vulpes vulpes), however, has a more modest size. The total length of the fox’s body together with the tail does not exceed 70-75 cm, and the weight rarely reaches 3.5-3.6 kg. Unlike the common fox, her 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 belly are white. In adults, a black bezel is clearly visible around the eyes, and a strip of dark-colored fur runs along the ridge.
The African fox lives in the countries of Africa - it can often be seen in Senegal, Sudan and in the territory of Somalia. Food fox consists of both animals (small rodents, lizards), and from plant components.
- Bengal fox (Indian fox)(lat.Vulpesbengalensis)
This species of fox is characterized by medium size. The height of adults at the withers does not exceed 28–30 cm, the fox’s weight varies from 1.8 to 3.2 kg, and the maximum body length reaches 60 cm. The tail length of a fox with a black tip rarely reaches 28 cm. Wool, which forms hairline , short and smooth. It is painted in various shades of sandy-brown or red-brown color.
The animal lives in the foothills of the Himalayas, feels great in India and in the territory of Bangladesh and Nepal. In the menu of Indian fox there is always a place for sweet fruits, but preference is given to lizards, eggs of birds, mice, insects.
- Korsak, steppe fox(lat.Vulpescorsac)
It has a distant resemblance to an ordinary fox, however, unlike it, the representatives of this species of foxes have a shorter pointed muzzle, large broad ears and longer legs. The body length of an adult corsac is 0.5-0.6 m, and the fox weighs 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.
Steppe fox lives in many countries: from the south-east of 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 region.
Steppe foxes feed on rodents (voles, jerboas, mice), destroy nests, hunt bird eggs, sometimes attack hedgehogs and hares. There is practically no plant food in the diet of the steppe fox.
- American Corsac, dwarf agile fox, prairie fox(lat.Vulpesvelox)
The little fox is torso-long from 37 to 53 cm and weighs from 2 to 3 kg. The height of the animal at the withers rarely reaches 0.3 m, and the tail length is 35 cm. The characteristic light gray color of the thick short fox fur on the sides and back in the summer period acquires a pronounced red shade with red-ocher tan. The throat and belly of the fox have a lighter shade. Also, the black markings on both sides of the sensitive nose and the dark tip of the tail serve as a specific feature of the American corsac.
The dwarf fox lives in areas of plains and semi-deserts and practically has no territorial binding.
The fox feeds on mice, rabbits, loves to feast on locusts and grasshoppers, it will not give up the carrion left over from the prey of better predators.
- Sand Fox(lat.Vulpesrueppelli)
The animal has a characteristically large, wide ears and paws, the pads of which are protected from the hot sand by a thick fur coat. Unlike most relatives, representatives of this species of foxes are well developed not only hearing and smell, but also vision. The pale brown color of the back, tail and sides with separate white guard hairs serves to the fox with a good camouflage color in conditions of sand and stone placers in the habitats. The weight of adult animals rarely reaches 3.5-3.6 kg, and the length of the fox’s body, together with the tail, does not exceed 85-90 cm.
Песчаная лиса живет в пустынной местности. Многочисленные популяции встречаются в песках пустыни Сахары – от Марокко и знойного Египта до Сомали и Туниса.
Питается песчаная лисица не слишком разнообразно, что связано со средой обитания. В пищу лисы входят ящерицы, тушканчики и мыши, пауки и скорпионы, которых животное абсолютно не боится и ловко поглощает.
- Tibetan fox(lat.Vulpesferrilata)
The animal grows to the size of 60-70 cm and weighs about 5 kg. The rusty brown or fiery-red color of the back, gradually turning into a light gray color on the sides and a white belly, gives the impression of stripes running along the fox’s body. Fox fur is thicker and longer than other species.
The fox lives on the territory of the Tibetan plateau, is less common in northern India, Nepal, and in some provinces of China.
The food of the Tibetan fox is diverse, but its basis is pika (senostavki), although the fox with pleasure catches mice and hares, does not squeamish the bird and its eggs, eats lizards and sweet berries.
This is the smallest fox in the world. The height of adult animals at the withers is only 18-22 cm with a body length of about 40 cm and weight up to 1.5 kg. The fox fenek is the owner of the largest ears among the representatives of the genus. The length of the ears reaches 15 cm. The surface of the pads on the paws of the fox is pubescent, which enables the animal to quietly move along the hot sand. The belly of the animal is painted white, and the back and sides in various shades of red or fawn. The tip of the fox's fluffy tail is black. Unlike other relatives, making sounds as necessary, foxes of this species often communicate with each other with the help of barking, growling, and also howling sounds.
Feneks live mainly on the territory of the central Sahara, but quite often this fox can be seen in Morocco, on the Sinai and Arabian Peninsulas, near Lake Chad and in Sudan.
Fenech is an omnivorous fox: it hunts rodents and small birds, eats locusts and lizards, does not give up the roots of plants and their sweet fruits.
- South African fox (lat. Tulips chama)
Quite a large animal with a mass of 3.5 to 5 kg and a body length of 45 to 60 cm. The tail is 30-40 cm long. The fox is colored from gray with a silvery shade to almost black on the back and gray with a yellowish shade on the stomach.
Fox lives exclusively in South African countries, especially large populations are found in Angola and Zimbabwe.
Omnivorous species: small rodents, lizards, low-nesting birds and their eggs, carrion, and even food scum, which the animal finds when entering private yards or landfills, go for food.
- Maikong, savanna fox, craboed fox (lat. Cerdocyon thous)
The species has a body length from 60 to 70 cm, the tail of a fox reaches 30 cm, the fox weighs 5-8 kg. The height of Maikong at the withers is 50 cm. The coloration is brown-gray with brown spots on the muzzle and paws. The color of the throat and abdomen can be gray, white or various shades of yellow. The tips of the ears and tail of the fox are black. The legs of Maikong are short and strong, the tail is fluffy and long. The weight of an adult Maikong reaches 4.5-7.7 kg. Body length is approximately 64.3 cm, tail length is 28.5 cm.
Maykong inhabits South America. The savanna fox feeds on crabs and crustaceans, lizards, fish, frogs, insects, turtles' eggs, and sometimes eats berries, fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, figs and mangoes.
- Big eared fox (lat. Otocyon megalotis)
The animal has disproportionately large ears, reaching 13 cm in height. The fox's body length reaches 45-65 cm, the tail length is 25-35 cm. The fox's weight varies between 3-5.3 kg. The hind legs of the animal have 4 fingers, the front - five-fingered. The color of the animal is usually gray-yellow with brown, gray or yellow spots. The belly and throat of a fox have a lighter shade. The tips of the paws and ears are dark, there is a black stripe on the tail, the same stripe is on the fox's muzzle. This species of foxes differs from other species by the presence of 48 teeth (for the rest of the genus, only 42 teeth).
Fox lives in southern and eastern Africa: in Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, South Africa.
The main food of the fox is termites, beetles and locusts. Sometimes the animal eats bird eggs, lizards, small rodents, vegetable food.
Where does the fox live?
The distribution area of foxes includes the whole of Europe, the African continent, North America, Australia and a significant part of Asia. The fox lives in the forests and groves of Italy and Portugal, Spain and France, in the steppe and forest-steppe regions of Russia and Ukraine, Poland and Bulgaria, the desert and mountain regions of Egypt and Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, Mexico and the United States of America. Foxes feel at ease in the fertile climate of India, Pakistan and China, as well as the harsh conditions of the Arctic and Alaska.
Under natural conditions, foxes inhabit ravines and ravines overgrown with vegetation, forests or landings interspersed with fields, in desert and high-mountainous areas. As shelter is often used burrows of other animals or dug independently. Burrows can be both simple and with a complex system of moves and emergency exits. Foxes can hide in caves, crevices of rocks, and also in hollows of trees. Easily tolerate an overnight stay in the open. The animal easily adapts to life in cultivated landscapes. Fox populations were observed even in parks of large cities.
Almost all members of the family are active nocturnal, but foxes often go hunting and daytime.
What fox eats in nature?
Food fox depends entirely on the place of residence of the animal, time of year and species. It is based on rodents (mice, gophers), birds nesting on the ground and their eggs, as well as hares. Large individuals often attack calves of deer and other small mammals. In winter, foxes can feed on carrion, all sorts of food waste, or attack small domestic animals and birds.
Foxes who live in the steppe and desert areas eat various insects (beetles, termites, locusts), reptiles (frogs) and reptiles (lizards, turtles' eggs).
Fox species living along rivers, on which salmon return from spawning, are happy to feed on fish. In the summer months, the fox menu is replenished with a variety of fruits, berries and fruits, as well as juicy parts of plants.
Foxes, like wolves, are monogamous animals whose mating season occurs once a year. The rut time, as well as its duration depends on the type of fox and occurs in the period from December to March. To produce and train offspring hunting skills, male and female foxes form one season for one season. The exceptions are the Corsaks, which create permanent pairs, and Fenekas, which have permanent communities numbering more than ten individuals.
Even before the beginning of the mating season, the female fox begins to look for a hole in which it will breed.
Often, the females' favors are achieved by several applicants; therefore, violent clashes take place between them. The male fox in every possible way decorates the lair and even catches fleas and other parasites in a pregnant female.
Newborn foxes (fox puppies)
The duration of gestation of foxes in different species may differ slightly, on average, it varies from 48 to 60 days.
In one brood there are from 4 to 16 blind, deaf and toothless puppies. The color of their fur can be either very light or dark brown, but always with a bright tip on the tail.
Cubs of South African fox
The weight of newborn foxes varies from 40 to 100 grams, and the size does not exceed 14 cm. After a couple of weeks, fox puppies acquire the ability to hear and see the environment. At the same time, their first upper teeth erupt.
The period of feeding with milk lasts about one and a half months, at the same time parents teach offspring to meat food and its prey. To do this, they teach babies to hunt insects, lizards and frogs. By the end of the summer, fox puppies are already quite reminiscent of adult animals, and in November they leave their parents and begin an independent life. Sexual maturity in foxes begins in the second year of life.
Puppies of a big fox
Fox at home: maintenance and care
Maintaining a home fox in a house or apartment is possible, but for this you need to follow a number of rules. Be sure to find a good vet who will periodically monitor the health of your pet. The cage for the fox should be spacious so that the beast can arrange a kind of den in it. In addition, it should be arranged so that it is easy to clean it. In the cage it is imperative to put a drinker so that the animal is not thirsty. If the territory of a country house allows, then you can arrange for a home fox a large indoor enclosure with a booth. The grid should be buried in the ground by almost a meter so that the cunning pet did not dig and did not run away.
In order for the fox not to be bored, it is necessary to play and train with it - the home fox quickly becomes attached to the owners, therefore it does so with pleasure. However, you should not resort to aggressive games, because even a tamed animal can cross the line and bite or scratch the owner. The best option would be to use an arsenal not for dogs, but for “typically cat fun”.
During the summer period, foxes emit a strong and rather unpleasant odor, so it is recommended to bathe your home fox at least once every two weeks.
How to feed a homemade fox?
In feeding, domestic foxes are unpretentious and gladly eat dog food, but it should be remembered that it should be of the highest grade. Fruits, berries and vegetables can be used as herbal supplements. Fox can be fed chicken, beef and fish. But before you treat your pet with these goodies, they should be boiled, and the fish should be examined for large bones by selecting them from the pulp. The animal will not refuse from dairy products - cottage cheese, soft cheese, milk. However, do not forget: these delicacies should be included in the diet no more than a couple of times in 2 weeks, limiting their consumption to 100-180 grams per feeding.
You can pamper your home fox with “live” food by purchasing a live mouse or rat in a specialized store, but you should not spoil your pet with this menu option - the fox can completely abandon the standard feed for the sake of animal hunting.
Foxes do not limit themselves to any one dish, they can eat more than three hundred animals of different species. The main part of the diet are mice-voles, gophers and other small rodents. Therefore, it is believed that foxes bring significant benefits to agriculture, reducing the number of pests.
A smaller role compared to rodents in fox feeding is played by birds, although the fox will never miss a chance to hunt any bird that has flown down, both small and large, does not bypass the laying of eggs, small chicks, and devastates nests.
In winter, most of the food sources disappear, flies away to the south, falls asleep deep in burrows, there is practically no plant food, and then the fox will be rescued by vole mice that are always available. In winter, often on the field, you can see a red-haired predator perform an intricate dance. This is the little thing.
Hearing and sensing the nesting of voles, the fox begins to dance in one place, bouncing on its hind legs and hitting hard on the snow or the ground with its front paws. Next, it remains to catch frightened mice running out of their holes. Sometimes she dives into the snow with her face and can fall to the half of her body under the snow. Each such dive is awarded the presence of prey in the fox's mouth.
Not a single meat
In the southern part of Europe, foxes often hunt small reptiles; in the Far East and Canada, living along rivers, they seasonally feed on fish of salmon, which they cast ashore after spawning. In the summer the fox hunts for bugs and other insects with pleasure and dexterity, and eats a lot of them. These foxes bring great benefits to the forest and agriculture: eating the May beetles and their larvae, they keep the number of beetles within the normal range. For the May beetles, the foxes love to chase, honing their skills and catching their favorite delicacy. Do not lose sight of the fox and the gaping fisherman, or rather his net with the fish.
Finally, foxes, in the absence of the best, do not disdain various carrion, and in starvation time - and all sorts of garbage. Then they can be seen digging around trash bins, garbage dumps, although, they do not do it as often as people do.
And for dessert
The ability of the fox to feast on the most varied food is firmly established in folklore.
The fox can even have a good snack on an untidy soybean field.
In captivity, with an abundance of meat, the fox will still be happy to eat vegetables, carrots, or, for example, raw, peeled potatoes. Also, do not give up milk or a tasty sandwich.
Where do foxes live?
Foxes, who learned to adapt to the most diverse climatic conditions, are extremely widespread. Their habitat is almost the entire territory of Europe and Asia, North America and North Africa. These animals successfully acclimatized in Australia, where they were introduced in the middle of the 19th century.
The fox lives in a wide variety of territories - from the mountains and southern steppes to taiga expanses and tundra. These predators can be met even in places where a person’s foot has not stepped, and in rural neighborhoods. Being an ecologically plastic animal, the fox adapts remarkably well to the most diverse habitat conditions, but prefers open landscapes: forest splits, hills, ravines, fields, and forest-steppe. She doesn’t really like the deaf taiga, the snowy areas and the desert.
Fox is the largest species of the fox genus. The body length of the beast is 60-90 cm, weight - 6-10 kg.
The color and size of foxes vary in different locations. There is a pattern: the farther north, the foxes are larger and brighter colored, the farther south, the smaller the animal's size, and the fur loses its brightness, dims. The most popular color of foxes is a bright red back with a blurry dark pattern, a white (rarely black) belly, and dark paws. In southern latitudes, the color of fox fur varies from light gray to sandy yellow.
The undoubted decoration of any fox is the tail: fluffy, with white underfur and black tip. Sometimes in length it is almost equal to the length of the body of the beast.
The body of the fox is light, dry and mobile: the animal is able, curving, to slip along the ground when hiding the prey and stretch when running fast at a gallop. The legs are thin and sinewy, flexible in the joints. Like most animals that can run fast, the fox runs, relying on the fingers. This explains the corpus callosum, hard soles and short blunt claws. The large length and strength of the hind legs not only promotes rapid movement on level ground, but also makes unexpected jumps and turns, in which the long tail works like a steering wheel and helps maintain balance. The same tail, fluffy, like most of the body, serves as a blanket for the fox during sleep. Curling into a ball and wringing its tail in front, the fox uses it as a clutch, plunging the most chilly parts of the body into long soft hair - legs and a muzzle covered with short hair. If you look at the head of the animal, it is easy to catch here the main features of the predator. Relatively large and erect ears speak of excellent hearing, a strongly protruding muzzle with a thin nose - an equally perfect sense of smell, lively, yellow and slightly slanting eyes with a slit-like pupil (set upright like cats, but slightly more rounded) - o vision adapted to the dark.
Foxes, as a rule, are nocturnal, but there are those who hunt for food in the morning and afternoon hours, and sleep at night.
Foxes can dig very long and multichamber burrows in the slopes of ravines or hills, but do not use them as a permanent dwelling. Burrows serve to breed offspring and sometimes as a shelter from danger. Here, the female puppy - brings 5-6 foxes. For safety, the foxhole has several exits - torn. Foxes live in the main chamber under the ground, but they can escape from the enemy (for example, from the breed of dog - the Fox Terrier, specially bred for fox hunting) through emergency exits. Sometimes the fox uses other people's burrows - badgers or marmots, chasing clean owners with their strong and strong smell.
The foxes do not fall into hibernation. Throughout the cold season, they wander around their territory, and rarely use their burrow.
A fox is a cautious beast, but at the same time it does not hold curiosity. An empty tin can, a colored piece of paper — she will definitely investigate so that she does not meet on her way. What drives a fox when it comes to the noise of a car or train — mere curiosity or curiosity about personal security? The beast as if checks who appeared in the forest and from whom to wait for trouble.
Each animal has its own plot in which it lives and feeds itself, and if the “borders” were broken by another fox, the integrity of the territory is restored by scuffle.
What do foxes eat?
The fox is a typical predator. The main and most constant prey is made up of mice, to the seizure of which both fine incisors and narrow snouts are perfectly adapted.
In winter, you can watch the fox mowing. If the snow is not deep, then the animal smells the mouse under it, and from above it “watches” with the help of its sense of smell the movement of prey under the snow cover. The fox rises on its hind legs, waits, and then abruptly, in a jump, rushes its front paws to the place where the victim hid under a snow layer. Только трудность добывания мышей в снегу или в количестве, необходимом для выкармливанья щенков, обычно вынуждает обратиться к ловле птиц и крупных грызунов.
Вообще, лисица – зверь всеядный. Все, что попадется живого ей под лапу, идет на пропитание: от улиток и жуков до зайцев и ночующих под снегом тетеревов. Бывает, что посещает Патрикеевна и курятники, а также городские свалки, где всегда есть чем поживиться. Не брезгует она и растительными кормами – ягодами и фруктами. Зверь с удовольствием ловит рыбу и раков, а иногда даже выкапывает дождевых червей.
The fox is of great economic importance as a fighter of rodents and insect pests. At the same time, foxes are carriers of an acute infectious disease - rabies.
“Wedding time” for foxes begins in February-March. A single female is being looked after by several males at once, without departing from it by a single step. Fights for the "beloved" between males at this time are inevitable. The strongest of the strongest becomes the father of the family, in which usually there are 4-6 puppies, sometimes more (up to 12-13). Fox gestation duration is 52-56 days. Puppies are born blind and deaf, but covered with fluffy brown fur. Already by the twentieth day, the foxes begin to crawl out of the burrow, but they continue to eat mother's milk even up to one and a half months. Rapidly growing youngsters become more and more difficult to feed, and parents (and both mother and father take part in raising the younger generation) begin to teach them the tricks of the hunt. Now the puppies are already running away from the burrow to decent distances and begin to catch small animals - beetles, grasshoppers, etc. Usually by August the young grow up so much that they can already live independently. Sexually mature foxes become one year old.
Under natural conditions, fox life is rarely more than 7 years, while in captivity they can live up to 20 years. Such a difference is due to the fact that in nature this animal itself can become prey for larger predators - bears, wolves, wolverines, and even birds - hawks, eagles, falcons and golden eagles, and for fox hunter lovers - a desired hunting trophy. Some people keep foxes as pets, although the very phrase “home fox” is quite controversial. But nevertheless, in captivity foxes live much longer for understandable reasons - a person takes care of her, she lives alone, does not spend energy searching for food, etc.