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For other meanings of the word Fox see Fox (disambiguation).


A fox can be any of 23 medium-sized carnivore species in the family Canidae, most commonly a member of the genus Vulpes, and in particular the well-known Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes. Foxes tend to be small by comparison with other members of their family like wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs; to have slender, slightly flattened skulls, pointed muzzles, moderately short legs, large ears, and long, bushy tails.

Unlike many canids, foxes are not pack animals; they are solitary, opportunistic feeders that hunt live prey by stealth and surprise, and gather a wide variety of other foods ranging from grasshoppers to fruit and berries.

Foxes hold individual territories and generally remain within them except for the mating season.

Foxes include members of the following genera:


In some countries foxes are a serious pest when imported. This is a recurring pattern in colonization. Plants and animals, though perfectly suited to their environmental niche in their home country, become a serious pest when taken to a different part of the world.

In Australia, for example, feral Red Foxes are probably the single most harmful invasive animal, being responsible for more extinctions than even cats and rabbits. Deliberately introduced as a quarry for the sport of fox hunting, they are now seen as a pest by farmers because of the toll they take on young lambs, goats and poultry, and are hunted by professional and amateur shooters, particularly by spotlighting.

Ironically, certain varieties of fox in other parts of the world are an endangered species. The first example of the introduction of the fox into a new habitat by humans seems to be neolithic Cyprus.

In Western culture, the fox is a familiar animal of folklore, a symbol for cunning. (See Trickster). The species is also a popular animal for furry characters.

In Japanese culture, the kitsune (Japanese for fox) is a powerful form of animal spirit that is highly mischievous and cunning.

The earliest presentation of foxes seem to be stone carvings found in the early Neolithic settlement of Göbekli Tepe in eastern Turkey.