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Red Fox

        Animals | Other Mammals

Red Fox
Red Fox
Jeff Foott/DCI

The red fox has the largest geographic distribution of any carnivore in the world.

Primarily nocturnal, it is a shy and nervous hunter and scavenger that will eat everything from insects and small mammals to berries and even human garbage.

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The red fox has acute hearing that can pick up the low-frequency sounds of digging and scraping in underground burrows.

When food items are abundant, the fox caches them for harder times.

The primary social unit is the mated pair, and their litters are born in dens dug by the adults or taken over from other mammals, such as badgers, and then modified. Older foxes, usually female, help to provision the litter.

Animal Facts

Name: Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Family: Canidae (Dogs and Relatives)

Range: Canada, United States, Europe, Asia, northern Africa

Habitat: Forest to tundra, including cities

Diet: Small mammals, insects, fruit, berries, and garbage

Head and Body Length: 24 to 35 inches (60 to 90 cm)

Tail Length: 12 to 22 inches (30 to 55 cm)

Shoulder Height: 14 to 16 inches (35 to 41 cm)

Weight: 4 to 15 pounds (2 to 7 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating depends on locale, usually January to March; gestation 51 to 63 days, two to ten cubs born

Description: Red, orange or gray fur; sharp, pointed face; yellow eyes; large, black ears; light, agile build; black limbs; bushy, black tail with white tip

Conservation Status: Common