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ARTICLES IN THE BOOK

  1. Alligator
  2. Alpaca
  3. Anaconda
  4. Ant
  5. Anteater
  6. Antelope
  7. Baboon
  8. Badger
  9. Bat
  10. Bear
  11. Bee
  12. Boa
  13. Butterfly
  14. Camel
  15. Canary
  16. Cat
  17. Cheeta
  18. Chicken
  19. Chimpanzee
  20. Cobra
  21. Cod
  22. Condor
  23. Cormorant
  24. Cow
  25. Crab
  26. Cricket
  27. Crocodile
  28. Crow
  29. Deer
  30. Dog
  31. Dolphin
  32. Donkey
  33. Dove
  34. Duck
  35. Eagle
  36. Elephant
  37. Emu
  38. Falcon
  39. Ferret
  40. Fly
  41. Fox
  42. Gazelle
  43. Giraffe
  44. Goat
  45. Goose
  46. Gorilla
  47. Hare
  48. Hedgehog
  49. Heron
  50. Hippopotamus
  51. Horse
  52. Hyena
  53. Ibis
  54. Jackal
  55. Kangaroo
  56. Kingfisher
  57. Koala
  58. Leopard
  59. Lion
  60. Llama
  61. Lobster
  62. Louse
  63. Mantodea
  64. Mink
  65. Mole
  66. Mongoose
  67. Mosquito
  68. Mule
  69. Nightingale
  70. Octopus
  71. Opossum
  72. Orangutan
  73. Ostrich
  74. Otter
  75. Owl
  76. Panda
  77. Parrot
  78. Partridge
  79. Peacock (Peafowl)
  80. Pelican
  81. Penguin
  82. Pheasant
  83. Pig
  84. Pigeon
  85. Prawn
  86. Puffin
  87. Quail
  88. Rabbit
  89. Reindeer
  90. Rhinoceros
  91. Salmon
  92. Seagull
  93. Seal
  94. Shark
  95. Sheep
  96. Shrimp
  97. Silk worm
  98. Skunk
  99. Sparrow
  100. Spider
  101. Squid
  102. Squirrel
  103. Stork
  104. Swallow
  105. Swan
  106. Tarantula
  107. Termite
  108. Tiger
  109. Toucan
  110. Tuna
  111. Turkey
  112. Turtle
  113. Violet-ear
  114. Vulture
  115. Walrus
  116. Wasp
  117. Whale
  118. Wolf
  119. Woodpecker
  120. Yak
  121. Zebra
 



ANIMALS
This article is from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License 

Fox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

A fox is a member of any of 27 species of small omnivorous canids. The animal most commonly called a fox in the Western world is the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), although different species of foxes can be found on almost every continent. The presence of foxes all over the globe has led to their appearance in the popular culture and folklore of many nations, tribes, and other cultural groups.

Fox terminology is different from that used for most canids. Male foxes are known as dogs, tods or reynard, females are referred to as vixens, and their young are called kits or cubs, as well as pups. A group of foxes is a skulk.

Etymology

Modern English "fox" is derived from Old English with the same spelling, the Old English word itself comes from the Proto-Germanic word "*fukhs", compare German "Fuchs", Gothic "fauho", Old Norse "foa" and Dutch "vos", which corresponds to the Proto-Indo-European word "*puk" meaning "tail" (compare Sanskrit "puccha" meaning "tail" as well). The bushy tail is also the source of words for "fox" in Welsh ("llwynog", from "llwyn" meaning "bush") and "fox" in Lithuanian is "uodegis" from "uodega" meaning "tail". In Irish there are two words, the standard "sionnach" but also "madra rua" meaning "red dog".

General characteristics

An urban fox investigating a pet rabbit in a garden in Birmingham, UK
Enlarge
An urban fox investigating a pet rabbit in a garden in Birmingham, UK
An urban fox in High Park, Toronto. Note how skinny it is.
Enlarge
An urban fox in High Park, Toronto. Note how skinny it is.
Red Fox
Enlarge
Red Fox
Desert Kit Fox
Enlarge
Desert Kit Fox

Most foxes live 2–3 years but can survive for up to 10 years, or longer in captivity. With most species roughly the size of a domestic cat, foxes are smaller than other members of the family Canidae, such as wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs. Recognizable characteristics also include pointed muzzles and bushy tails. Other physical characteristics vary according to their habitat. For example, the Desert Fox has large ears and short fur, whereas the Arctic Fox has small ears and thick, insulating fur.

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, although the Silver Fox was successfully domesticated in Russia after a 45 year selective breeding program.

However, foxes are to be readily found in cities and domestic gardens.


 

Sexuality

Foxes have one mate for its entire life. With this mate the fox may have multiple litters. Foxes are never homosexual, but two male foxes can live together or travel together.


 

Classification

Foxes include members of the following genera:

  • Alopex (Arctic Fox)
  • Cerdocyon (Crab-eating Fox)
  • Dusicyon (Falkland Island Fox)
  • Fennecus (Fennec, or Desert Fox)
  • Lycalopex (Hoary Fox)
  • Otocyon (Bat-eared Fox)
  • Pseudalopex (four South American species, including the Culpeo)
  • Urocyon (Gray Fox, Island Fox and Cozumel Fox)
  • Vulpes (the ten species of "true" foxes, including the Red Fox (vulpes vulpes)

Vocalization

Foxes do not come together in chorus like wolves or coyotes. Fox families, however, keep in contact with a wide array of different sounds. These sounds grade into one another and span five octaves; each fox has its own characteristically individual voice. Fox noises can be divided, with a few exceptions, into two different groups: contact sounds and interaction sounds. The former is used by foxes communicating over long distances, the latter in close quarters .

"Wow-wow-wow" 
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 cubs 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.
Gekkering 
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.
Purring 
As seen in a BBC news report on 5th October 2006, tamed foxes purr when cuddled.

Ecobalance

Arctic Fox (summer coat)
Enlarge
Arctic Fox (summer coat)

In some countries, such as Australia, which lacks similar carnivores , introduced red foxes predate on native wildlife, some to the point of extinction, and become an invasive species. However, many other fox species are endangered.

Foxes can also be used for helpful environmental purposes. They have been successfully employed to control pests on fruit farms, where they leave the fruit intact.[1]

Historians believe foxes have been 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 Göbekli Tepe in eastern Turkey.

See also

  • Foxes in fiction
  • Fox Hunting
  • Kitsune
  • Tame Silver Fox
  • Violet gland
  • Fox Spirit

References

Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage fact sheet, 2004

External links

  • Fox sound files.
  • The Fox Forest, information on red foxes.
  • Foxton Forums, A place to discuss foxes.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox"

 



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