Red Fox (Vulpes Vulpes)
Pen, Ink and Watercolour Illustration.
Fine art prints available at www.furfeathersandtails.co.uk
The Red Fox is highly adaptable and as such is the most wide-spread of all Carnivora (land carnivores). It is found from the Arctic Circle down as far south as North Africa. It is native to North America, throughout Europe and most of Asia right the way to Japan. Red Foxes were also introduced by the British colonies to Australia in 1830s. The Red fox can adapt very quickly to new environments as diverse as grasslands, mountain ranges and cities where they scavenge from dust bins and are reported to thrive in affluent neighborhoods.
The Red Fox is a member of the dog family, but also shares some similar characteristics with cats, such as semi-retractable claws, almond-
shaped pupils rather than round, and the agility to climb large
obstacles such as fences and the occasional tree! It owes it’s
balancing abilities to it’s thick furry tail or ‘Brush’ which also provides it with warm cover in winter.
Vulpes Vulpes’ diet is primarily made up of small mammals
including rodents such as mice, voles and rabbits, but is otherwise very varied and includes berries, plants, invertebrates and birds. To hunt small rodents they adopt the “mousing leap” technique which involves leaping upwards and descending into a pounce to catch the rodent producing minimal noise. Foxes have exceptional hearing, eyesight and even whiskers around their knees to help detect prey. In wintry seasons/habitats using the “mousing leap” to catch prey under the cover of snow. Red Foxes are ‘cache hunters’ meaning they will bury and store food when it is plentiful in order to feed on it in harder times.