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|Image Info||Original File Name: Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes).jpg Resolution: 750x500 File Size: 113794 Bytes Date: 2005:01:16 14:46:53 Camera: Canon EOS 20D (Canon) F number: f/5.6 Exposure: 1/400 sec Focal Length: 400/1 Upload Time: 2008:01:08 18:41:16|
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|Subject||Foxes (Family: Canidae, Tribe: Vulpini) - Wiki|
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Foxes (Family: Canidae, Tribe: Vulpini) - Wiki
Fox is a name applied to any one of roughly 27 species of small to medium-sized Canidaes in the tribe Vulpini, with sharp features and a bushy tail or brush. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), although various species are found on almost every continent. The presence of fox-like carnivores all over the globe has led to their appearance in the popular culture and folklore of many nations, tribes, and other cultural groups.
Look up fox in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The Modern English "fox" is derived from Old English fox. The Old English word itself comes from the Proto-Germanic word *fukh ??? compare German Fuchs, Gothic fauho, Old Norse foa and Dutch vos. It corresponds to the Proto-Indo-European word *puk meaning "tail" (compare Sanskrit puccha, also "tail"). The bushy tail is also the source of the word for fox in Welsh: llwynog, from llwyn, "bush"
Most foxes live 2 to 3 years, but they can survive for up to 10 years or even longer in captivity. Foxes are generally smaller than other members of the family Canidae such as wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs. Fox-like features typically include an acute muzzle (a "fox face") and bushy tail. Other physical characteristics vary according to their habitat. For example, the fennec fox (and other species of foxes adapted to life in the desert, such as the kit fox) has large ears and short fur, whereas the Arctic fox has small ears and thick, insulating fur.
Another example is the red fox which has a typical auburn pelt, the tail normally ending with white marking.
Unlike many canids, foxes are usually not pack animals. Typically, they are solitary, opportunistic feeders that hunt live prey (especially rodents). Using a pouncing technique practiced from an early age, they are usually able to kill their prey quickly. Foxes also gather a wide variety of other foods ranging from grasshoppers to fruit and berries.
Foxes are normally extremely wary of humans and are not kept as pets (with the exception of the fennec); however, the silver fox was successfully domesticated in Russia after a 45 year selective breeding program. This selective breeding also resulted in physical and behavioural traits appearing that are frequently seen in domestic cats, dogs, and other animals: pigmentation changes, floppy ears, and curly tails.
Foxes include members of the following genera:
Alopex (Arctic fox, sometimes included with the "true" foxes in genus Vulpes)
- Arctic Fox, Alopex lagopus
Cerdocyon (crab-eating fox)
- Crab-eating Fox, Cerdocyon thous
Chrysocyon (Maned wolf in English, "big fox" in Guarani and "reddish fox" in Spanish)
- Maned Wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus
Dusicyon (Falkland Island fox)
- Falkland Island Fox, Dusicyon australis
Lycalopex (Hoary Fox)
- Hoary Fox, Pseudalopex vetulus
Otocyon (bat-eared Fox)
- Bat-eared Fox, Otocyon megalotis
Pseudalopex (four South American species, including the culpeo)
- Culpeo, Pseudalopex culpaeus
- Darwin's Fox, Pseudalopex fulvipes
- Grey zorro, Pseudalopex griseus
- Pampas Fox, Pseudalopex gymnocercus
- Sechura Fox, Pseudalopex sechurae
- Hoary Fox, Pseudalopex vetulus
Urocyon (Gray Fox, island fox and cozumel fox)
- Gray Fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus
- Island Fox, Urocyon littoralis
- †Urocyon progressus (fossil species)
Vulpes (the ten or so species of "true" foxes, including the Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes)
- Bengal Fox, Vulpes bengalensis
- Blanford's Fox, Vulpes cana
- Cape Fox, Vulpes chama
- Corsac Fox, Vulpes corsac
- Tibetan Fox, Vulpes ferrilata
- Kit Fox, Vulpes macrotis
- Pale Fox, Vulpes pallida
- R??ppell's Fox, Vulpes rueppelli
- Swift Fox, Vulpes velox
- Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes
- Fennec Fox, Vulpes zerda
The diet of foxes comprise of rodents, insects, worms, fruit, birds, eggs and all other kinds of small animals. The fox generally consumes around 1 kg food every day. Foxes that live in neighborhoods mainly depend on household waste and even rodents and birds that keep moving around these areas.
They mostly thrive in the lower latitudes, suburban and even urban environments both in Europe and in North America. They are found also in Eurasia, North Africa, India (Ladakh, Himalayas, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Gujarat), China, Japan and in Australia. The population of this animal is approximately 20 million.
The best-known vulpine noise is a sort of barking that spans three to five syllables. "Conversations" made up of these noises often occur between widely spaced foxes. As their distance decreases, the sound becomes quieter. A cub is greeted with the quietest version of this sound.
The alarm bark
This monosyllabic sound is made by an adult to warn kits of danger. From far away it sounds like a sharp bark, but at closer range it resembles a muffled cough, like a football rattle or a stick along a picket fence.
This is a stuttering, throaty noise made at aggressive encounters. It is most frequently heard in the courting season, or when kits are at play.
The "vixen's" wail
This is a long, drawn-out, monosyllabic, and rather eerie wail most commonly made during the breeding season; it is widely thought that it is made by a vixen in heat summoning dog-foxes. Contrary to common belief, however, it is also made by the males, evidently serving some other purpose as well. This noise fits into neither the contact nor the interaction group.
Foxes are readily found in cities and cultivated areas and (depending upon species) seem to adapt reasonably well to human presence.
Red foxes have been introduced into Australia and some other countries for hunting. Australia lacks similar carnivores, and the introduced foxes prey on native wildlife, some to the point of extinction. A similar introduction occurred in the 16-1700's in America, where European reds (Vulpes vulpes) were brought to the colonies for fox hunting, where they decimated the American red fox (Vulpes veloxi) population through more aggressive hunting and breeding. Interbreeding with American reds, traits of the European red eventually pervaded the genepool, leaving European and American foxes now virtually identical.
Other fox species do not adapt as well as the red fox, and are endangered in their native environments. Key among these are the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous) and the African bat-eared fox. Other foxes such as fennecs, are not endangered, but will be if humans encroach further into their habitat.
Foxes can also be helpful for agricultural purposes. They have been successfully employed to control pests on fruit farms, where they leave the fruit intact.
Historians believe foxes were imported into non-native environments long before the colonial era. The first example of the introduction of the fox into a new habitat by humans seems to be Neolithic Cyprus. Stone carvings representing foxes have been found in the early settlement of G??bekli Tepe in eastern Turkey.
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