4 Fun Facts About Foxes: From Domestication to Incredible Journeys

Foxes, with their sharp wits and captivating charm, have intrigued humans for centuries. These adaptable and intelligent creatures exhibit a range of behaviors and abilities that reflect their complex nature and the diverse environments they inhabit.

Yawning fox
Photo by depositphotos.com

From the scientific endeavors to domesticate them to their astonishing physical capabilities, here are four fun facts that highlight the remarkable aspects of foxes.

1. The Domesticated Silver Foxes of Russia: In a groundbreaking experiment starting in the 1950s, the USSR embarked on a journey to domesticate foxes, aiming to understand the domestication of wolves. This led to the creation of the Silver Fox breed, which, after 40 generations of selective breeding, showcased not only a friendly disposition towards humans but also physical and behavioral traits distinct from their wild counterparts. These domesticated foxes developed shorter tails, floppier ears, and changes in their skeletal structure, making them appear more dog-like and endearing.

2. The Incredible Hunting Acumen of Foxes: Foxes possess an extraordinary ability to leap 3 feet in the air and dive into snow to catch mice with incredible accuracy. They calculate the speed and trajectory of their prey, executing a nose dive with pinpoint precision. This hunting technique showcases their acute sensory abilities and physical agility, making them formidable predators in their natural habitats.

3. Ancient Fox Domestication in the Iberian Peninsula: Archaeological evidence from the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula reveals that foxes, alongside dogs, were domesticated by humans in the Bronze Age, around the third to second millennium BC. These ancient foxes shared a similar diet with their human companions, indicating a close relationship between the two species during this period. This fact sheds light on the long-standing bond between humans and foxes, predating many known instances of animal domestication.

4. A Young Arctic Fox’s Remarkable Journey: In an astonishing feat of endurance and navigation, a young female Arctic fox traveled from Norway to Canada, covering a distance of 3,506 km (2,179 miles) in just 76 days. This journey, which included crossing vast expanses of sea ice and glaciers, set records for both the speed and distance of travel for the species. With an average daily movement rate of 46.3 km, and peaking at 155 km in a single day, this Arctic fox’s journey is among the longest dispersal events ever recorded for the species, showcasing their incredible resilience and adaptability.