5 surprising facts about the red fox

April 23, 2015, 4:05 p.m.

The red fox is a common sight in many countries, but how well do we know this creature? Here are five things that might surprise you.

  • Though the red fox is famous for its rusty-colored coat, there are also several color variants. Most famous are the silver fox and the cross fox. But there are also the grey, blackish-brown, platinum, amber, samson and a quite rare white morph.
  • Color isn't the only variation among red foxes. There are 45 recognized subspecies, including the High Sierra fox, which is one of the most endangered mammals in North America with only around 50 individuals remaining.
  • Though the High Sierra fox is a critically endangered subspecies, the red fox on the whole is one of, if not the most widespread of all land mammals. It is found in 83 countries on five continents.
  • The red fox is the largest of all 21 species of fox around the world.
  • Despite being only 14-20 inches tall at the shoulder, red foxes are able to jump over fences that are 6.5 feet tall.

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Jaymi Heimbuch is a writer and photographer at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.