Posh Name: Vulpes vulpes

Diet: Foxes are carnivores; they eat meat; small animals like rabbits, birds, mice and worms. Foxes are stealthy creatures and also like human food when they can get it; they’ll raid your bins for fruit, vegetables and any tasty scraps they can get at!

Habitat: Anywhere! Foxes are very clever and can adapt to different environments easily. You’ll find them in the country but they really like living in cities because they know that humans are messy and forgetful and always leave tasty things lying around!

Lifespan: In the wild foxes usually live around two years, but city foxes can live to be fourteen years old!

Size/Weight: Dogs, 112cm, 5.9kg. Vixens: 108cm, 5.2kg.

Home: Foxes live in dens; usually little burrows dug underground, or hollows in banks or under trees. They live alone or in packs with their families and all cuddle in to keep warm and safe!

Mating and Courtship: Foxes court and mate once a year, in winter. Foxes like to live alone but often mate for life once they’ve found another fox that they like. Male foxes are called dogs and females are called vixens. Every winter the dog will find his mate and stay with her through spring to help raise their cubs. Sometimes dogs and vixens will have more than one mate; occasionally the extended family will live together in the same territory.

Babies: Foxes usually have four to six cubs in a litter. The cubs are born deaf and blind with short noses. They are very cute and look a lot like puppies. Their eyes and ears start to open at two weeks old but they stay in the den with their mother until they are four weeks old. Then they start to get confident and playful and will venture out of their den to explore the new world around them. When they are fully grown, young foxes leave home in search of their own territory. Sometimes a vixen cub will stay with her mother to help raise the next litter of baby brothers and sisters and learn how to look after a family.

Defining Features: Foxes are a little bigger than cats and have bright red coats with big, bushy, white-tipped tails. They have white chests and black ears and legs. Foxes are part of the dog family and are distantly related to wolves!

Peculiar Behaviour: Foxes are very chatting and make 28 different calls which sound to us like barks and screams! You might hear them screaming at night in alleys and gardens – it sounds scary but don’t worry, they’re just having a chat!

Weaponry: Foxes are very clever predators. They have an excellent sense of smell and incredible night vision. They have an extra part to their eyes which means they can see at night and in the day; this is why their eyes glow green if you shine a light at them. Foxes have very large territories. They have whiskers on their legs which they use to help them find their way and to sense movement near them. They catch small animals on the ground by jumping high into the air and pouncing right on top of them! They have extra-sharp teeth; no small animal wants to get caught by the clever fox!

Vulnerability: Foxes are sometimes attacked by dogs, but they are most vulnerable to cars. Because they hunt mostly at night they are hard to spot for drivers until it’s too late.

I am fox, mythical and magical, bright-eyed and beautiful in my bright red coat. Long-nosed night-king am I, clever and stealthy, and don't they love to look at me, all the night folk? Though they fear me, the small ones, sleek me and sly me. All the little creepy crawlies, try to creep by me, snifflers, snufflers, feed 'em to my childers, to make 'em big and strong. I don't have friends, I'm too cunning for that; I hiss at the dog and bark at the cat! My only friends are up in the sky, all sparkly and splendid above me up high. I sing to the moon and dance for the stars, 'what a talented chap!' they shout from afar! And when I dance I'm so sprightly and free, and if you look closely don't the stars dance back at me?