For many animals, their reputation precedes them. Unfortunately, that's not necessarily a good thing, since many of those reputations are built on a keystone of misconceptions and an eager tendency to judge by offering no means of defense. I mean, fair enough, animals can't call us to solve it over a court seeing. Foxes are often depicted as deceitful and cunning creatures, not rarely being a direct equivalent to evil. But, like any other animal, they simply live their lives with a sense of instinct, so don't take anything they do personally. If they happen to be clever enough to trick its own kin, that can only be a bonus in the harsh world of the wilderness, right? Well, a Dutch photographer named Rosalind Raimond decided to capture the other sides of foxes, by snapping them in beautiful pictures that showcase their loving and adorable nature. While we line them up, we'll also know 11 Amazing Facts About Foxes To Make You Love Them, as a means to learn something different about them.
1. They're Solitary Creatures
Although members of the Canidae family, along with dogs, wolves and jackals, foxes don't behave like their cousins, as far as organization goes. They don't gather in packs, preferring to hunt and live by themselves. The only exception is when they form small families, called “leashes of foxes,” and live in underground burrows.
2. They're Cat Like
Yet another ironic piece of knowledge, is how foxes rather resemble felines than their other canine family members. For instance, they behave similarly to cats, by doing things like walk on the tips of their toes and sneaking, then pouncing, on the prey they're hunting. But there's more that: foxes are also genetically similar to felines. They grow considerably more active at nightfall, being built with vertical pupils that grant them sight in conditions of dim light, and they also possess retractable claws! This means they can climb trees, often opting to take naps among the branches.
3. They Detect Magnetic Fields
Have you ever seen a fox dive head-first into a pile of snow, leaving only its bottom legs hanging out? Yeah, what's up with that? As crazy as it sounds, scientists strongly believe that foxes can detect Earth's magnetic field and use it to calculate where to hit their prey — kind of like a missile. This can only happen while facing north, though, and it requires a serious amount of unbroken concentration. Still, how cool is that?
4. They Make Excellent Parents
Just like all these photos show us, foxes stick to their children with unwavering loyalty. They reproduce once a year, birthing an average of six pups, which are born blind until they open their eyes nine days later. The little ones stick by their parents until they're seven months old. An incredible example of the parental love foxes carry is when a baby fox got caught in a trap, managing to survive because its mother brought food to it every day.
5. They Can Sustain Extremely Low Temperatures
Other than the red one, the most known kind of fox is the Arctic one. This sub-species is extremely adapted to the cold climates of the extreme Northern hemisphere. Its while fur coat helps it blend in with the snow, and it's warm enough to keep the fox from shivering up to -70 degrees Celsius. During other seasons, the coat changes color to either brown or gray, helping it camouflage with the rocky tundra.
6. They're Common In Folklore
Part of the reason why foxes are associated with so many malevolent things, is due to their depiction in the traditional folklore of various civilizations. Perhaps the most famous of examples is the nine tailed fox, a recurring theme in many Asian cultures, though the fox is represented in the lore of medieval Europe and Native America too. Did you know that Finnish people believed the Northern lights were created by a fox that swiped sparks into the sky with its tail?
7. They Can Be Bought As Pets
If you're starting to grow fond of foxes based on the information laid before this, fear not: for $9000, you could own a fox as a pet yourself. A soviet geneticist started mass breeding foxes in the late 60's, managing to produce a kind of domesticated foxes that, unlike tamed foxes, are docile towards humans from birth. Allegedly, as pets, these foxes are sweet and curious, but you might want to keep your expensive furniture out of their reach.
8. They're Very Playful
Foxes are very curious and frolicsome, both with their own kind and humans (though it's debatable whether people want to be part of this game). In fact, they funnily so happen to be very fond of balls, which is why they can be seen invading golf courts and snatching them.
9. They Have Long History With Humans
Even if dogs are indeed man's best friend, they aren't our oldest friend. Researchers dug up in 2011 a grave in Jordan that's over sixteen thousand millenniums old, finding there the remains of a man and of his supposedly pet fox. If this is all true, then it means that humans domesticated foxes and brought them by their side long before the first recorded human buried with a dog.
10. They're Everywhere
The most common kind of fox is the red one, something that's majorly curtsy to its great adaptability in terms of diet and environments. This is how you can find red foxes all over the Northern hemisphere, from the Arctic, to South Africa, to Central America and even to the steppes of Asia.
11. What Does The Fox Say?
They scream. This is what they basically sound like, and you can listen to it here. Warning to all the headphone users.
I don't know about you, but I couldn't stop staring at those photos. Foxes simply need to be a given a chance, you know? I mean, yeah, they might be snatching chickens right from the warm embrace of their nests, but it's nothing any normal, instinctive animal hasn't done before. If we keep all these 11 Amazing Facts About Foxes To Make You Love Them in mind, we can start appreciating foxes for the fascinating animals they really are.