Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids (slightly smaller than a medium-sized domestic dog), characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail (or brush).
Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to the Vulpes genus of "true foxes". By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), although various species are found on almost every continent. The presence of fox-like carnivores all over the globe, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their appearance in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world (see also Foxes in culture). The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe, especially the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World.
Famous quotes containing the word fox:
“We follow where the Swamp Fox guides,
His friends and merry men are we;
And when the troop of Tarleton rides,
We burrow in the cypress tree.
The turfy hammock is our bed,
Our home is in the red deers den,
Our roof, the tree-top overhead,
For we are wild and hunted men.”
—William Gilmore Simms (18061872)
“Perhaps of all our untamed quadrupeds, the fox has obtained the widest and most familiar reputation.... His recent tracks still give variety to a winters walk. I tread in the steps of the fox that has gone before me by some hours, or which perhaps I have started, with such a tip-toe of expectation as if I were on the trail of the Spirit itself which resides in the wood, and expected soon to catch it in its lair.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“How much the greatest event it is that ever happened in the world! and how much the best!”
—Charles James Fox (17491806)