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Red fox

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Red Fox
File:Vulpes vulpes sitting.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Vulpes
Species: V. vulpes
Binomial name
Vulpes vulpes
Linnaeus, 1758
Red Fox range
Red Fox range
Synonyms

Vulpes fulva, Vulpes fulvus

The most common type of fox in the world. It is also the most common species of Vulpine.

This species includes the Silver Fox, the cross fox and the American red fox (despite the original foxes being the offspring of the British Red Fox and a Domestic Gray Fox).

The Red Fox is most commonly a rusty red, with white underbelly, black ear tips and legs, and a bushy tail with a distinctive white tip. The “red” tone can vary from crimson to golden, and in fact can be brindled or agouti, with bands of red, brown, black and white on each individual hair when seen close up.

In the wild, two other color phases are also seen. The first is silver or black, comprising 10% of the wild population and most of the farmed. Approximately 30% of wild individuals have additional black patterning, which usually manifests as a stripe across the shoulders and down the center of the back. This pattern forms a “cross” over the shoulders, hence the term “cross fox”. “Domesticated” or farmed stock may be almost any color, including spotted, or “marbled”, varieties.

The fox's eyes are gold to yellow and have distinctive vertically slit pupils, similar to those of a feline. Their eyesight is also as sharp as that of a feline, and combined with their extreme agility for a canid, the Red Fox has been referred to as “the cat-like canid”. Its long bushy tail with distinctive white tip provides balance for large jumps and complex movement. Its strong legs allow it to reach speeds of 45 miles per hour, a great benefit to catching prey or avoiding predators.

The Red Fox may reach an adult weight of 2.7-6.8 kg (6-15 lb), but this varies from region to region; European individuals being larger, on average, than those in North America.

During the autumn and winter, the Red Fox will grow more fur. This so-called 'winter fur' keeps the animal warm in the colder environment. The fox sheds this fur at the onset of spring, reverting back to the short fur for the duration of the summer.

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