Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Red Fox

Fox study 6" by Peter Trimming
The red fox, Vulpes vulpes, is the most widespread member of the order Carnivora. It is also the largest member of the Vulpes genus. It is the third species in this blog on the IUCN  world's most invasive species: points and a huge money prize for anyone who can name the other two! 
It is also the species responsible for the demise of one of our chickens on Sunday.
The carnivores are the most diverse in size of all the mammalian orders, from 25g (Least Weasel) to 5000000g (Southern Elephant Seal).
The reason they get on the list is their shenanigans in Australia (clue to one of the other species on the blog on the list).
We are blessed/cursed by having a pair of foxes resident at the bottom of our neighbour's wild garden, although to be honest if they weren't there, there would be foxes elsewhere in the locality presenting a risk to our chickens.
Most of the anthropomorphic ideas about foxes in our culture stem from the stories about Reynard the Fox, first written down in the twelfth century. His debut in English was, surprise, surprise, in Chaucer's The Nun's Priest's Tale where he appears as 'Rossel'.
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