Q:

What is the life cycle of the red fox?

A:

Quick Answer

Red foxes mature sexually and produce a litter at about 1 year of age. Pups are blind and helpless at birth and remain with parents for roughly half a year. Red foxes typically pair monogamously.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Red foxes produce a single litter each year, typically in the spring. The vixen enters oestrus for 3 weeks, and she and the male mate several times during that period. Kits are usually born 49 to 58 days later. While litters of 13 kits are possible, most litters have roughly four to six offspring.

Kits are deaf and blind and lack teeth at birth, and they weigh less than 1/4 pound. Their eyes and ears begin to function at about 2 weeks of age. Red fox kits nurse for 3 to 4 weeks before the mother begins weaning them to solid food, although a vixen lactates for 6 weeks. By 6 to 7 months of age, fox kits reach adult size, and some vixens are reproductively mature at 9 months.

Most red foxes form monogamous pairs, and both males and females take part in caring for offspring. Help from the father is essential for the first several weeks as the mother remains with the kits to provide warmth. DNA analysis from some fox populations shows some amount of polygamy and incest.

Learn more about Mammals

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some facts about red foxes?

    A:

    Red foxes are omnivorous mammals that live around the world in diverse habitats such as forests, grasslands, mountains and deserts. Foxes are solitary animals, but during the winter breeding season, they court and mate. The male fox stays with the female through the early spring, providing food for the family. Red foxes use their iconic bushy tails for balance, a warm cover in cold weather and to communicate with other foxes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the name of a female fox?

    A:

    Female foxes are called vixens and the male fox is called a dog, tod or reynard. A female fox that is not a breeder is referred to as a nanny.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the differences between a coyote and a fox?

    A:

    Coyotes are much larger than foxes, as they reach nearly 47 pounds in weight, while red foxes only reach about 31 pounds. Additionally, coyotes have head and body lengths that approach 40 inches, while red foxes rarely exceed 36 inches in head and body length. Coyotes are colored in combinations of brown, straw, gray, white and black, while red foxes are mostly red with red and white accents.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the name for a baby fox?

    A:

    Baby foxes are called kits. They are born in underground dens during the spring in litters of four to six kits. At birth, each is approximately the size of an American dollar bill and completely helpless.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore