Foxes are mammals that look like small, bushy-tailed dogs. They live all over the world. The red fox likes farmland, the gray fox – forests, the silver fox – cold areas, and the Arctic fox lives around the North Pole.
Foxes are about 81 to 145 centimeters long, including the tail. They usually weigh 3 to 8 kilograms. They have long fur that varies in color: reddish brown, black with gray-tipped hair, brownish, white.
Foxes usually live in dens. Most of them hide by day and hunt by night. They eat almost anything: birds, including chickens, small mammals, and rodents.
The island gray fox is mostly gray, and its belly and throat are white. Black markings often accent its face and limbs. It hunts for food primarily in the early morning and late evening. They eat insects, fruits, mammals, birds, reptiles, and eggs. A female usually gives birth to a litter of one to eight pups. The mother nurses her pups for six weeks while the father hunts for food. The island gray fox lives in grassland, coastal scrub, sand dune, and forest areas. They are found only on the six largest Santa Barbara Islands that extend along the southern coast of California.
The most amusing beast is the bat-eared fox, which is found in Eastern and Southern Africa. It is yellowish-brown or yellow, except for black paws, ends of ears and tail. The beast received its name because of high (up to 14 cm) and very wide ears. A surprising feature of this species is the number of teeth – 48 (the maximum number for terrestrial mammals).
People hunt foxes for sport and for their fur.
In the wild, foxes live about 6-8 years, and in captivity can live from 20 to 25 years.
The fox is probably the most common beast in the world. Its fluffy tail can be seen in the forests of Europe and in the American savanna, in the African bush and in the mountains of Afghanistan. In addition, the red cheat is in the folklore of all countries and peoples. Its cunnings and tricks are described in the tales of Spain and France, Russia and Norway. A cunning fox is also present in the Arabic Thousand and One Nights, and in Japanese Mukashi Banashi, which literally means “stories of antiquity.”
Fox symbolizes hypocrisy, treachery, cunning, but also the mind. Sometimes it is depicted lying on the ground with an open mouth: it pretends to be dead to lure the prey.
The red fox was the demon of fire in Rome.
For the peoples of the Far East, the fox is an example of evil spirit.