Hide and seek with a red fox

July 16, 2014, 1 p.m.
red fox

Perfecting the art of blending in

It may seem at first that red foxes have such a gregarious coat color that it would be tough for them to blend into the scenery. But this photograph of a wild red fox in Alaska shows how this is true only some of the time. The bright red, orange, or yellow shades of a fox's coat, combined with the light and dark accents, help it to blend right in with dry grasses, leaves, and underbrush. Red foxes also don't just come in the classic orangey-red color. There are actually two more distinct color morphs: the cross, which has both a darker stripe of fur running down its back as well as across its shoulders, lending it a coloration similar to a German shepherd dog; and the silver, which is black in color with silver hairs covering anywhere from 25 percent to 100 percent of its body. Regardless of the color variations, the red fox has become one of the most successful carnivores, with a range that extends across the entire northern hemisphere of the world and that grows alongside human expansion.

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