Despite the fact that foxes do not live with humans, they do not need a special introduction. Thanks to folklore, children at an early age get acquainted with a small animal that compensates for their weakness by cunning, but does not miss their own if you can offend the weaker.
Of course, it is worth separating the image of a fox that developed in our imagination under the influence of children's fairy tales and cartoons, from the fox's real lifestyle. As one of the most famous researchers Charles Roberts wrote, it is always difficult for a person who describes the habits of highly organized animals to resist giving them some human features.
The notorious fox trick in real life only appears when the animal leaves chase. At this time, the fox is very skillfully looping, confusing the tracks, and can instantly disguise itself, disappearing from the field of view. When hunting foxes are fairly straightforward. They operate according to the scheme “detection of prey - lightning attack - end of the hunt.”
On average, foxes are from half a meter to a meter in length. The tail, which is approximately two-thirds of the length of the body, is accounted for separately. The maximum weight of foxes is 000 - kg) kg, while it is subject to significant seasonal fluctuations. Foxes are by no means exclusively forest dwellers. Rather, even, they can be conditionally attributed to the inhabitants of the forest-steppe and woodlands - it is in these natural zones that fox food lives and grows.
From the point of view of geography, foxes live almost everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, with the exception of places with a very extreme climate. In the Southern Hemisphere, foxes live only in Australia, where people have successfully brought them. However, the success of breeding foxes in Australia is relative - they were bred, desperate to cope with rabbits, but foxes, being on the smallest continent, preferred to hunt for smaller fauna. The rabbits, to the desperation of the farmers, successfully continued to breed.
1. Despite their small size, foxes are rarely hunted by larger animals. Of course, a wolf, a bear, a lynx or a wolverine will not give up the opportunity to catch a gaping fox. However, such a chance appears very infrequently - foxes are attentive and quick. Purposefully, adult foxes are practically not hunted. Young animals are at great risk. Even birds of prey prey on him not without success. Taking into account the human factor - and fox hunters, if possible, knock out thousands - the average life expectancy of a fox does not exceed three years. At the same time, foxes do not die at all because of the exhaustion of the body’s resources - in captivity there were cases when foxes lived on 20 - 25 years old.
2. Foxes are practically not afraid of humans, so they are well studied and take root in captivity, allowing people to breed new subspecies. People living in rural areas naturally dislike foxes - red-haired beauties often destroy birds and small livestock. However, zoologists claim that the extent of damage from foxes is often exaggerated.
3. The English fun “Fox Hunt” did not come about because the villagers lacked entertainment. England is so densely populated that the last wolf was killed at the beginning of the XVI century. The disappearance of wolves led to an unprecedented breeding of foxes who lost their last natural enemy. The implications for farmers were obvious. Angry peasants began to organize massive driven fox hunts. They managed to kill some animals, but the noise made by the crowd of “hunters” was more important. The first mention of such a hunt dates back to 620 year. The technology turned out to be more than successful - by the year 1534, specially bred dogs were required to hunt foxes. In parallel, economic processes were underway in England that led to the deprivation of peasants of free non-agricultural land, and fox hunting became the property of the nobility. It turned into a whole ritual with magnificent ladies' toilets, old-fashioned costumes of hunters, etc. At the beginning of the XXI century, after a short debate, the British Parliament banned the hunt for foxes with a pack of more than 3 dogs. To abolish the centuries-old tradition, one vote in the House of Commons was enough.
4. There is a fox hunt that can do without the death of these animals. So still unofficially called competitions in sports direction finding. The role of the foxes is performed by constantly working transmitters hidden in rough terrain. Athletes are armed with receivers. Their task is to detect all transmitters (usually 5 of them) in the shortest time. The "fox hunting" competition was very popular during the Cold War. The essence of the competition is very close to counterintelligence work to identify and eliminate intelligence channels of communication. Therefore, government agencies, primarily military and counterintelligence, supported athletes in every way. The end of the Cold War and the rapid development of information technology have discounted the “fox hunt”, and now only enthusiasts are involved in this sport.
5. Caution and speed of foxes forced hunters to invent several ways of hunting these animals. Foxes are lured by a bait. The carcass of an animal or a large piece of meat is left in a well-shot place, and hunters are hiding nearby. Foxes are lured by decoys, and in recent years, two-module electronic decoys have gained popularity. In them, the control path is in the hands of the hunter, and the loudspeaker emits luring sounds. This design allows you to bring the fox in a convenient place for shooting. Large companies of hunters practice salary hunting, with flags. Hunting dogs are used, as well as hounds and greyhounds, chasing foxes into the field (greyhounds also strangle runaways themselves) and burrows, chasing a fox out of a hole.
6. Despite the fact that fox hunting is popular wherever these animals are found, in Russia even the most successful hungry hunter will not feast on fox meat. The fox is a very active predator, so there is virtually no fat in fox meat. This makes it extremely tough, fox meat is much tougher than the meat of other predators. The freshened carcass emits a very unpleasant odor that weakens, but does not completely disappear even through 11 hours of soaking in vinegar and salt. Finally, the rodents that make up the diet of foxes are packed with parasites. Foxes have developed very powerful immunity, which is absent in humans. Therefore, the meat must be subjected to a long heat treatment. When cooking, an unpleasant odor appears again, so the only way to cook fox is stewing with a lot of seasonings and spices. The Scandinavians, who amaze everyone with surströmming - pickled herring - distinguished themselves here. In Sweden and Denmark, foxes are raised for meat on special farms and even send part of the products for export. Retail fox meat costs about 12 euro per kilogram .
7. Around the middle of the twentieth century, foxes began to be bred and tamed as pets. On a scientific basis, a group of Dmitry Belyaev in Novosibirsk worked on this. Careful selection of the most intelligent and affectionate individuals yielded results only after many years. D. Belyaev became an academician, a nice monument was erected to him and one of his pets in the Novosibirsk town - a scientist and a fox sit on a bench, holding out each other's arms. But even many years of efforts did not lead to the breeding of a new breed. Scientists who continue to work to improve the behavioral qualities of foxes call their pets only a "population." That is, it is simply a large group of individuals living in a limited area.
8. The unprincipled "breeders" of foxes have long managed to instill into the fooled customers the idea that the fox is the same dog, only a cat. In the sense, the animal is very devoted to the owner and, at the same time, neat and independent. And if the animal does not behave the way the owner wants, then these are the problems of the owner. Only with the development of mass communications did unlucky foxes manage to share with the world the delights of keeping a fox as a pet. The character of the fox does not depend on the place of purchase, whether it is a special nursery, a reseller or even a roadside on which a potential pet was hit by a car. Regardless of whether you got a rather extravagant pet for free, or if you paid for it 10 or thousand) rubles, it will differ in extremely unpleasant features of behavior. He will crap anywhere; nibble and dig wherever possible; make noise at night and stink around the clock. It is the smell that is the most serious negative property of the fox. You can somehow accustom it to the tray (the contents of which will have to be changed at least twice a day), but the fox will never get rid of the habit of unpleasant to pain in the eyes of the secret of paranal glands with any strong emotion from love to fear. Therefore, it is best to keep a fox pet in a spacious enclosure in a private house, but not in an apartment. But in any case, it is necessary to take care of rubber gloves and strong detergents in commercial quantities.
9. Foxes adapt to almost any external environment. Few animal food - foxes easily switch to vegetable, without suffering from it at all. It is getting colder - we grow, to the delight of hunters, a thick undercoat. It gets warm - the undercoat falls out and the fox becomes like a sick puppy. Even the color of fox fur depends solely on environmental conditions. If there are many predators in the habitat, foxes dig deep burrows with branched passages and a dozen, or even more, exits. Such burrows in area can reach 70 sq. m. Predators are relatively few - and the hole will be short and shallow, and emergency exits will be enough for two or three. In the cold regions, the main entrance of the hole faces south, in the warm and hot, it faces north, and in deserts and steppes where the winds blow less often.
000. For some reason, they call a "fox hole" a type of apartment building similar to a hole except for the location of the entrance on the slope. Modern "fox holes", the projects of which are offered by many construction companies, may not go deep into the earth at all - these are just buildings whose walls are bunched with earth. Human "fox holes" have advantages and disadvantages, but they have nothing to do with foxes except the name.
10. Tighter hunting rules and environmental laws everywhere lead to the fact that foxes are gradually selected for human habitation. Near people finding food is much easier than in the wild, than foxes enjoy and enjoy. In the territory of the countries of the former USSR, by and large, so far only residents of villages and small settlements located near forests suffer from them. It is impossible to deal with thieves destroying petty animals. The law expressly prohibits firing within populated areas permitted only on rabid animals. To do this, you need to confirm the disease, which is impossible to do without killing the fox - a vicious circle. In Europe, foxes are firmly established in major cities. According to the estimates of epidemiologists, order lives in London 10 foxes. 70% of city dwellers are positive about red robbers fighting dogs and cats gutting garbage bags, and wondering where you have to. People, it turns out, feel guilty about animals that have been bullied for hundreds of years. In Birmingham, foxes became a disaster so much that they had to create a special team to catch them. The team worked wonderfully, catching a hundred animals. They were taken to the nearest forest and released - to kill something inhumane. The foxes returned back to the city (and it is good if they did not bring friends and girlfriends with them) and continued their dirty deeds. The careless attitude of the townspeople towards foxes is surprising - foxes suffer the most terrible infections, including rabies.
10. Sea fox is a large (up to 1.2 meters in length) slope sizes. It lives off the coast of Europe, including in the Black and Azov Seas, and along the entire Atlantic coast of Africa. In the water column you can also find fox sharks. These are predators of three species ranging in size from 3 to 6 meters. Theoretically, fox sharks are considered shy and not dangerous to humans. Flying foxes also refer to foxes by name only. These are the largest winged birds in the world, until recently they were combined with bats. The body of the flying fox reaches a length cm), and the wingspan is one and a half meters.
11. The English word "fox" - "fox" to the familiar phrase "Film company the twentieth century Fox represents," has nothing to do. “Fox” in this case is the name of an enterprising Hungarian, whose name was either Wilhelm Fuchs, or even Wilmos Fried. Arriving in the USA, for the sake of harmony, the Hungarian remade his name and founded a film company. In 1930, the company was taken from him during an unfriendly takeover. Fox - Fuchs - Fried fought, but lost. From him the film company was left, as the song says, only a name.
13. “Desert Fox” - German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, in 1930 - 1943 he successfully commanded German troops in North Africa. However, Rommel did not use any special tricks in command. Like all successful German military leaders of World War II, he was able to concentrate forces on a narrow section of the front and break through the enemy’s defenses. When there was nothing to concentrate, the Desert Fox abandoned troops in Africa and went to Hitler to ask for reinforcements.
14. “The Fox’s tail and the wolf’s mouth” - those who jokingly and who were shaking with fear called the policy of General Mikhail Loris-Melikov in Russia at the end of the 19th century. Under Emperor Alexander II, Loris-Melikov, who became famous in the Russo-Turkish War 1600 - 1878, at the same time he was both the Minister of the Interior and the head of the gendarme corps. The authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs then included almost all of domestic policy, from basic sectors of the economy to the charity of the weak and orphans. In this post, Loris-Melikov had a “fox tail” - he stood for easing laws, increasing public initiative, etc. Having passed into the office of the head of the gendarmes, the general activated the “cleft palate”, preventing the revolutionaries from letting go (in his understanding) . The fox tail involuntarily outplayed the cleft palate - on March 1 1881 the year Emperor Alexander II was killed, and one of the captured terrorists said that their leader was arrested before the assassination attempt, however, Loris-Melikov's wards did not receive any evidence about the impending assassination from him.
16. Foxes are firmly included in the mythology of dozens of peoples, and their influence on humans can be exactly the opposite, regardless of where the peoples live. Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese compete in the degree of fear experienced by foxes. The transformation of the animal into a seductive woman with the subsequent torture of the victim through enjoyment is not the most terrible outcome awaiting the Far Eastern man. Kitsune (in Japanese "fox") carry the life of those to whom they appeared in the form of a beauty, to the nines - they ruin the merchants or drive the rulers into disgrace. It is hard to imagine what they were doing in medieval Japan with men whom Kitsune appeared in the form of a handsome young guy. At the same time, in India, among the North American Indians and among several European peoples, the fox symbolizes wealth, luck or wealth. At an early stage, Christians identified the fox as Satan's accomplices - beautiful, wags its tail, and even the hair is the color of hellish flame. Nevertheless, some peoples, including Slavic ones, have maintained a negative, but complacent attitude towards the fox. “We know, fox, about your miracles”, “And the fox is cunning, and her skin is sold”, “The fox is caring, the cat is fooled” - these proverbs clearly say that people had long imagined the nature of a red predator.
16. An employee of the Voronezh Zoo Tatyana Sapelnikova told a very interesting case. Zoo workers needed to determine the concentration of small animals such as mice in one of the forest areas. During the routine, zoo workers set traps on mice. However, the work of scientists was greatly hindered by the foxes living in the district. For several years, zoologists set the same traps, and the size of the population was determined by the number of mice that got into them. However, over time, traces showed that someone reduces the number of mice trapped by carefully removing them and eating them nearby. Zoologists realized that the fox is no longer focused on mice, but on the smell of people setting traps. After a short game of “catch me” they managed to lure the fox - the zoologists originally called him Ryzhik - in the likeness of an aviary. Fox absolutely did not worry because of bondage. When the scientists managed to make the necessary experiment with the mice, Ryzhik was released. He did not run far, and even two foxes appeared nearby. They themselves did not figure out how to find mice and take them out of the traps, but the extraordinary abilities of the future groom were unmistakably appreciated.
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