Our local family of foxes has moved on. We are suffering from empty den syndrome and so are coping with a rainy, foxless Saturday with a fox quiz. Scroll down for answers.
1. A group of foxes is called:
- A. A trick
- B. A pack
- C. A skulk
- D. A skitter
2. The wild fox’s lifespan is around 3 years, but in captivity a fox can live up to:
- A. 20 years
- B. 10 years
- C. 5 years
- D. 2 years
3. Foxes belong to which family?
- A. Dogs (canidae)
- B. Cats (felidae)
- C. Rodents (rodentia)
- A. Eat a plant that makes them sick so that they can eat the extra food and get all the nutrients they can
- B. Call to other foxes to let them know that there’s food
- C. Bury it to save it for later.
- D. Eat what they can and leave the rest.
5. A male fox is called:
- A. A tod
- B. A dog fox
- C. A reynard
- D. All of the above
6. True or False: foxes have whiskers not only on their faces, but on their legs.
7. In 1959, Soviet scientists on fur breeding farms experimented with breeding silver foxes for domestic traits – they wanted them to be tamer. Along with the behavioral changes came some unexpected physical ones. Which of these physical traits did they NOT develop?
- A. Shorter snouts
- B. Longer tails
- C. Floppy ears
- D. Curly tails
- A. Retractable claws
- B. Purring
- C. Reflective layer in their eyes, which helps them see in the dark
9. Foxes eat:
- A. Plants – they’re herbivores
- B. Other animals – they’re carnivores
- C. Bugs – they’re insectivores
- D. Nearly everything – they’re omnivores
10. True or False: foxes can smell the rodents that burrow underground.
1. C. A skulk. We guess that’s where the term “skulking around” came from.
2. B. 10 years. The steady food source and lack of predators (including people) accounts for the longer life span.
3. A. Dogs.
4. C. Bury it and save it for later.
5. D. All of the above.
6. True! Believe it or not, foxes do have whiskers on their legs – they help them navigate (skulk around) the forest terrain.
7. B. Longer tails. This longitudinal study resulted in behavior patterns that made adult foxes act more like kits. This study also affected efforts to domesticate wolves as pets. Some of these physical traits can be seen in many modern day dog breeds.
8. A. Retractable claws. Foxes do have that reflective layer in their eyes, but they are not the only canines that have this.
9. D. Nearly everything – even garbage! Some foxes do specialize in certain foods depending on their habitats. Blandford’s foxes, for example, eat crustaceans, grapes, melons and capers, which means they have little or no need to drink fresh water.
10. False. However, foxes can hear the rodents burrowing – they have very sharp ears.
Annie Campbell contributed research for this quiz.