LMAC#30: The Fox and Its Family

in #lmac2 years ago (edited)

shaka 2020 trees gif 4.gif

My collage features several red foxes entering and leaving a burrow. This would actually be quite typical of a fox community, although you are more likely to see such activity at night, rather than in broad daylight. While not exclusively nocturnal, foxes do tend to hunt and forage at night. Their eyesight is keen, and much like a cat, have vertically slit pupils. Animals that have vertically slit pupils (as opposed to round pupils) are able to regulate the amount of light entering the eye and therefore are more adaptable to changes in light.

Contrary to what many people believe, the fox is a social animal. It may hunt alone, but is part of a community that lives in a burrow. The burrow is an underground tunnel that typically has several exits. There may be a special nesting chamber where the young are nurtured.

Fox Burrow
burrow Vulpes_vulpes_burrow_entrance_L107 This file was created by Emőke Dénes and uploaded by DenesFeri. 4.0.jpg

The fox community invests a lot of energy in rearing the young. The mother nurses and hovers for 4 to 5 weeks. This is essential because the young are born blind, and totally helpless. As the mother hovers, the father hunts and forages to provide for his mate and offspring.

Foxes are mostly monogamous and mate for life. Sometimes a male will have more than one mate, but the group lives together in the burrow, in a cooperative relationship. The females in the burrow, including adult siblings, help to raise the young. According to evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, great parental investment in the young is associated with selective mating. This likely helps to explain the stability of fox family life.

Fox Pups
fox pups pixabay.jpg

Fox Lifespan
In the wild, a fox may be expected to live about three years. This is not the maximum potential lifespan, because in captivity they may live for ten or twelve years. The shortened lifespan is likely due to predation. The greatest predator of the fox? Humans. After humans, eagles (mostly eat fox pups), coyotes, wolves, bears and mountain lions.

Diet
Foxes are omnivores. They eat bugs, small animals (rodents, rabbits especially) and plants. And they are clever enough to store (called caching) their food. Not only that, they also are wise enough to move it, when necessary.

A Fox Foraging with a Couple of Badgers

fox foraging Badgers_and_fox_foraging.jpg

Apparently, European badgers and foxes get along just fine. However, on the other side of the Atlantic, it's another story. There, American badgers attack fox pups in the burrow. Animals that dig into burrow to attack are called fossorial carnivores.

Fox Intelligence
Foxes are canids, members of the dog family. It is said that they are smarter than most dog breeds. Foxes 'talk' to one another. That is, they communicate through body language and also through a variety of vocalizations. Different 'calls' are used by pups to get their mother's attention, and specific 'screams' and 'barks' are used to locate a mate or warn of danger.

Foxes in Nature
Foxes are not only a food source for predators, but they also help to keep the ecology in balance by preying on smaller animals and holding those populations in check. Additionally, foxes are seed dispersers. They eat fruit, and the seeds are deposited far and wide in their droppings.

Distribution
Foxes are widely distributed. Actually they are the most widely distributed wild carnivore. They are found in the Northern Hemisphere, but, according to foxwebsite.net "the northern limit of this distribution is the Arctic Circle and the southern is Central America, North Africa and the Asian steppes."



My Collage

I was delighted to see @shaka post the 30th installment of #LMAC, this time as part of a community. I had a little trouble getting started on this one, but kept at it. I decided to turn colorless winter to green summer. I did this by adding green trees, shrubs and grass from Paint 3D.

Shaka's picture was the base:

shaka 2020 smaller.jpg

Then I wanted more life, so I went to Pixabay and found a few fox pictures. Finally I settled on one, a small fox peeking out of a burrow. The rest of the foxes were added as the collage evolved. These were also taken from Paint 3D. The GIF was constructed by using a GIMP application.

Here are a few stages from the construction:

shaka 2020 trees sample2 for blog.jpg

Trees didn't look right, so I started over and added the little fox from Pixabay in the corner:

fox burrow small pixabay.jpg

shaka 2020 trees2 fox smaller2.jpg

After that, I just kept adding frames (and a little grass from Paint 3D for camouflage) as more foxes entered the picture.


Thank you, @shaka, for running this contest and starting an #LMAC community. Many of us are happy to see that.

Good luck to all :)

Forgot to add a link to the contest. Please head over there and look at some of the collages. Amazing.



Sources:

  1. MSPCA Angell About Foxes
  2. Wildlife Online Red Fox Senses
  3. Live Science Foxes
  4. Pets on Mom Are Foxes Faithful Mates
  5. Joelvelasco.net Parental Investment and Sexual Selection
  6. U. Michigan.edu Red Fox
  7. Wildlife online.me Red Fox Diet, Killing to Excess Caching
  8. Roaring Earth Badger Attacks Fox Den with Cubs Inside
  9. Canids.org Canid Specialist Group
  10. The Fox Website.net Ecology Communication
  11. Wiley online Seed dispersers help plants to escape global warming
  12. The Fox Website Populations


Thank you for reading my blog

fox and squirrel friendsgif.gif

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I must confess that 5 minutes ago, I knew nothing at all about foxes. Very interesting indeed and your collage is brilliant.

You are very kind. You have to head over to the contest and see some really great art. Mine looks like a very eager child with a message tried hard. I thank you for those words.

Oh really? I'll go and have a look. I'm unable to do anything more than take a photo, so the ability to make a collage with cute little moving foxes is very impressive.

:))

Love it! Thank you ☺️ 😎 ☺️

Thank you very, very much :))

☺️ i have to edit - this emoji is so small??? 🤗

:))

And the collage is brought to life with your foxes, making a community for a community. Love that! A couple of years ago we had a problem with 2 adult foxes and their screams at night were horrifying. That is when I learned all about them. Have a nice day AG!

Dear @whatisnew,
Thank you for your visit and your kind words! Yes, I wanted something cheerful. I think there is a place for that today, even a necessity. So glad you agree. I do love those little foxes...never knew they screamed.
Have a wonderful day, friend.

I like your collage very much - i like surprises and in your "little" movie i never know where the fog is coming! Thanks for the infos aroung the fox-life - many years ago i saw a lovely film/documentary about a foxfamily during one year. I rmember there was a tree too, but i could not find it in the internet. 😒

Danke für deine schöne Collage! Ich mag besonders, dass die Füchse immer wieder aus anderen Ecken auftauchen - ich mag Überraschungen! Danke auch für die vielen Infos. Vor Jahren habe ich mal einen Dokumentar film gesehen über eine Fuchsfamilie, die ein ganzes Jahr beobachtet wurden. Irgendwie war auch ein Baum dabei... (vielleicht als Erzähler?) Ich habe den Film leider nicht finden können. 🙁 Liebe Grüße Kadna

Meine liebe Freundin Kadna!
Ich freue mich, dass die gekommen bist. Ich habe an dir gedacht, als ich das schrieb. Nicht vie sagen, aber genug.
Ich mag den Fuchs. Das 'GIF' war schwer zu machen, viele 'frames'.
Danke für dein gütigen Worte.
Dein Freund,
AG

You're welcome dear Agmoore!

They have a special nesting chamber? I find all this info really interesting! Especially the bit about the badgers attacking them here and not there. That's bizarre. Maybe they have a treaty, can communicate with more than just fellow foxes?

Hello @owasco,
I was impressed with fox family life. They care so for their young. I read one article about a pup that was stuck in a snare trap. Vets estimate he must have been in the trap for about two weeks, but was still chubby. They presume his mother continued to bring him food while he was trapped. I love doing these strange posts, learn so much!
And I was also impressed by the ferocious American badgers. Isn't life funny?
Thanks for stopping by:)

Beautiful :) and a bit of facts about the species is a nice addition.

Thank you so much for that compliment. I love your art, your impression of reality is so congenial. It's a lovely window into a creative worldview.
Thanks for stopping by..

:)

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Ohhh I love these pictures and digital art @agmoore

I've been lucky enough to see badgers in the wild once, and urban foxes many times when I was wandering back late at night in my student days as drunk as a skunk lol

You weave information in with the pics and art so well to tell a story about these lovely animals.

I've also dropped by for another reason. I've just posted The Ink Well's second fiction prompt and I'm approaching some of the best fiction writers I know on steem to see if I can entice them to join in and potentially earn some high votes for their short stories as we now have both curie and OCD support. I have been a busy bee with my networking game since I started the community 10 days ago ;-)

Link to the ink well community: https://steempeak.com/c/hive-170798/created

Anyway, check out the prompt and see if it inspires you. I would dearly love to see a writer of your talent joining us writing at The Ink Well, even if only occasionally.

Here is the prompt post I wrote. I think it's a real interesting one that allows for a lot of scope for experimentation:

https://steempeak.com/hive-170798/@theinkwell/the-ink-well-fiction-writing-challenge-2-bad-habits

Much love and respect.

Rowan

Hi @raj808,
Thanks for your kind words. I have a lot of fun letting my imagination wander and trying to express my self visually. It's a new adventure for me. Words are a more familiar medium, but this visual outlet is getting to be quite comfortable, also. I've messaged you on the link you provided. It would be wonderful to participate. In the background (of my mind) I have a science blog evolving, but so much to learn as I plan that. I think one blog fuels the other, although the process is not conscious.
I hope to come up with a decent story for this prompt...just have a question, which I have posed on the Inkwell blog. Hope you can answer that.
With great admiration, and love,
AG