Information about: Fox

Index | Fox

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Fox. A carnivorous animal, of which there are several species, closely related to the dog. It is chiefly characterized by its sharp muzzle, and its long bushy tail, as well as by its cunning, which has passed into a proverb. The pupil of the eye is elongated, and not circular as in the dog; the ears are triangular in shape and pointed. A very powerful scent is emitted from the fox, in consequence of some glands which are placed near the root of the tail, and which furnish the odorous secretion; this odor is so fetid that even other animals avoid its locality. The fox is an inhabitant of most parts of Europe and America, and extends also into Asia. Its senses are extremely acute, so as alike to inform it of the location of its prey and to warn it of the approach of danger. It usually remains concealed during the day in a burrow, which it has either dug for itself or usurped, and ventures abroad chiefly at night, with stealthy movements, in search of food. Birds, mice, rabbits or hares constitute its usual prey, but, when pressed by necessity, it will have recourse to other food, as it has a predilection for certain. kinds of fruit, such as grapes. To domestic poultry it is terribly destructive. Though slightly made, the fox has great muscular vigor and bites with much severity. Even when taken at a very early age, it is never properly domesticated; adults, when placed in confinement show great ferocity, and soon die. Numerous species of fox exist in the old and new worlds, of which the most important are the Arctic, or blue fox, and the American, or red fox. The Arctic fox abound in the Arctic regions, and is remarkable for changing its color with the season, being brown or bluish in summer, and white in winter. The soles of its feet are hairy. The red fox is found throughout North America; it is quite variable in color and marking, and varieties of it are known by different names. The skins of all the species of fox are valuable, and make warn and soft furs, used for muffs, linings, etc.