The fox is the smallest member of the dog family, although it also has many similarities with cats – such as vertical slit eyes and retractable claws. They also hunt like a cat, stalking their prey and playing with it before killing it. Keep reading to find more interesting facts about foxes.
• Fox species include the gray fox, red fox, arctic fox, kit fox and fennec fox. The red fox is the most common. There are 21 species of fox. The fox is the smallest member of the dog family. They have a lifespan of 2 to 5 years but some have lived to be 14 years old in captivity.
• The fox also has many similarities to a cat. They have vertical slit eyes and partially retractable claws. Foxes are excellent tree climbers, and they mark their territory by the scent of urine. They also hunt like a cat. They stalk their prey just like cats. They often play with their prey before they kill it. Foxes hunt mainly at night because they are nocturnal animals.
• Foxes live all over North America. They adapt very easily and can manage in a dense forest or a suburban neighborhood. They make their home under sheds, in the hollow of trees, in ground burrows, and in wood piles.
• Most foxes are about the size of a large house cat. Foxes can range in height from 35 to 45 inches and weigh approximately 15 pounds.
• Foxes are carnivores, which means they eat meat. Their diet includes rodents, rabbits, insects and small birds. If they live near a farm, they will raid the hen house and steal the chickens. They will also eat vegetation.
• Foxes breed between December and February. In the spring, the female may produce a litter of 4 to 5 kits. The kits have no fur and are blind. The mother has her litter in a den. She does not leave the den for the first two weeks after the cubs are born. The female nurses her kits. When the kits are about 4 weeks old they begin to venture out of the den. They will leave their mother sometime between 6 and 12 months of age. A fox can mate when they reach 10 months of age.
• The fox does not live in a pack. It lives and hunts alone. When a group of foxes are together it is called a “skulk.”
• A fox’s hearing is so sharp they can hear a watch ticking 40 yards away. They can also hear something moving underground. They also use a variety to sounds to communicate.
• The kit fox, or swift fox, can run up to 23 mph for short distances.
• Coyotes, wolves, eagles and the lynx are all natural enemies of the fox.
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