The Red Fox

VULPES VULPES

CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Tribe: Vulpini

Genus: Vulpes

Species: V. vulpes

EVOLUTIONARY RELATIONSHIPS

The red fox is in Order Carnivora. Other animals in this order include, marsupials, bats, mammals, primates, dolphins, and whales, therefore the red fox is closely related to these other animals in one way or another.

HABITAT

Red foxes live all around the world in all sorts of diverse habitats such as forests, grasslands, mountains, deserts; they can also adapt well to human environments like farms, suburban areas, or even large communities. Below, there is a map showing the range of the red fox across the world. (yellow color)
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DIET

Red foxes are strictly hunters that feed on rabbits, rodents, birds, reptiles, leporids, invertabrates and other smaller animals. However, their eating diet can be as diverse and resourceful as their home habitat. For example, the red fox will eat fruit and vegetables, fish, frogs, worms, and if they are in a human habitat, they feast on garbage or pet food of some sort.

SOCIAL INTERACTIONS

Usually, the red foxes are seen together in pairs, or small groups known as families, such as a mated pair with their young, or consisting of a male with several females having kinship ties. Red foxes live in family groups sharing a joint territory, or home range. Red foxes only use dens when they have babies to protect, and they usually have multiple dens to move around the baby while it is growing up. With mating, red foxes usually live away from their partner in the wild until breeding season in December, then they stay together. After six months, the baby foxes are fully grown and head out on their own.

MOVEMENT

Foxes are built to be long-distance runners, to escape predators, with tough toe pads and hard nails that stay out all of the time. They can run up to a speed of approximately 30mph or 48km/h. The red fox can impressively jump over objects as high as two meters. Unfortunately, the red fox cannot climb trees.

SIZE

Weight- 6.5- 24lb

Body Length- (head and body) 18 to 33.75in, (tail) 12 to 21.75in

PREDATORS

The predators of the red fox consist of humans, coyotes, wolves, pumas, or large birds such as the eagle. They defend themselves using their speed and intelligence to escape predators. They defend their babies against them by keeping the babies in a den until they grow to defend themselves.