Red fox in Îles-de-Boucherville National Park, Canada Like many other wild animals, the fox has learned to survive alongside humans. In places where human development encroaches on the fox’s habitat, it’s not unusual to see foxes in decidedly non-woodland environs. This red fox, however, enjoys the natural life in Îles-de-Boucherville National Park, a park comprised of five islands in the St. Lawrence River just north of Montreal, Canada. Within the park, the foxes likely don’t need to scavenge for food left behind by the many people who visit. Even in winter, foxes are excellent hunters, using their incredible sense of hearing and smell to locate prey, even beneath the snow.

 

English: Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) range map: green = native, blue = introduced, orange = presence uncertain

The red fox is found across the entire Northern Hemisphere, feeding primarily on small rodents, which it hones in on with exceptional hearing. Unlike most other mammals, the red fox can hear low-frequency sounds very well, like the sound of an animal digging in the dirt or snow. Like a cat, it sneaks up on its prey, then pounces and chases the animal.

Scientists have recently discovered that the red fox also uses the Earth's magnetic field when hunting prey. The odds of a red fox catching a mouse buried beneath the snow rise to nearly 75 perfect if the predator is facing north. The fox uses the invisible magnetic field of the planet to triangulate and home in on its prey, buried in up to 3 feet of snow, from 18 feet away.

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