Red Fox picture: Red foxes tend to live near farmland, which provides them with good hunting ground and plenty of rodents, a staple of the foxís diet. Despite this tendency to live near civilization, the foxís keen senses and alertness keep it mostly inconspicuous to humans, who are potentially dangerous predators. As a result the red fox has been immortalized in folklore and in Aesopís fables for its craftiness and cunning.
Information: The red fox is by far the most common species of fox. It is 90 to 105 cm (36 to 42 in) long, not including the tail, weighs about 7 kg (about 15 lb), and is distinguished by black ears and feet and a white tip on the tail. The coat is usually some shade of rusty-red or reddish-brown, sprinkled with light-tipped hairs.
The red fox ranges across Eurasia and North Africa and from northern Mexico to the Arctic. Within these vast zones diverse variations of the red fox have developed; those of the south are smaller and have lighter-colored coats, and those of the north are larger, with thicker and darker coats. The silver fox, valued for its black, frosted fur, is simply a variant of the red fox.
Red Fox Hunting picture: The red fox, a member of the dog family Canidae, is an agile, intelligent hunter. When capturing small prey such as mice, the fox pounces upon the intended victim from above in much the same manner as a cat.
The great alertness of the red fox, and its keen senses of smell, hearing, and sight, enable it to live close to human habitation without being easily noticed. Farmland with woodlots and open fields provides it with good cover and abundant rodents, especially field mice. When red foxes have been eradicated from rural areas, populations of rodents have swelled. Red foxes were introduced to Australia to cope with its plague of previously introduced rabbits.
On pairing, red foxes occupy a territory of 3 to 8 sq km (1.5 to 3 sq mi). They mate in midwinter, and following a 49- to 56-day gestation period, the vixen bears two to eight cubs in a den that is frequently an enlarged groundhog hole. The cubs are born with their eyes closed and are attended in the den by both parents for about five weeks. By fall the young leave or are driven from the territory. Red foxes are believed to pair for life; their lifespan is about 12 years.