To human eyes, a red fox’s flame-colored fur stands out starkly against vegetation, but— believe it or not!— red foxes actually evolved their characteristic coats as camouflage. Animals aren’t capable of producing green pigment. Animals that appear green actually depend on structural coloration, or the use of microscopic physical traits to reflect green light. Scales,Continue reading “Why Red Foxes are Red”
Tag Archives: fur
Variations in Striped Skunks
“What kind of skunk is this? Isn’t this one different?” “Isn’t it supposed to have more black?” “Is it going to get more white when it gets older?” We see these questions a lot about our striped skunk patients! Skunks have highly variable markings, and we routinely see patients who are nearly all-black or nearlyContinue reading “Variations in Striped Skunks”
Gray Red Foxes and Red Gray Foxes
Yes, you read it correctly! A lot of people in our area have trouble identifying which species of fox they have found. Two fox species are native to our area, the gray fox (on the left) and the red fox (on the right). The confusion is understandable since gray foxes have an abundance of reddishContinue reading “Gray Red Foxes and Red Gray Foxes”
I Found a White Fox. Is it a Pet?
We’ve gotten many calls from across the country about foxes with white, black, or otherwise unusual coats, with the question, “Is this someone’s pet?” Despite their name, red foxes are some of the most variable animals on Earth, naturally coming in color phases including melanistic (black or “silver”), cross (red and black), leucistic (yellow orContinue reading “I Found a White Fox. Is it a Pet?”
Cross Fox or Red Fox? How to Tell
Cross foxes and grey foxes are easily confused! The description of “grey with a red outline” applies to both, but they’re actually completely different species (both of which occur naturally here in Southeast Tennessee). The cross fox is actually a red fox, the species most people are familiar with. When a red fox carries genesContinue reading “Cross Fox or Red Fox? How to Tell”
That fox isn’t too skinny!
We’ve gotten several calls in the last few months about foxes that appeared “too thin” and “sickly.” While a few of them were sick with mange— which is marked bu bald patches of skin with scabs and crust— most were actually perfectly healthy! Foxes are built like whippets. They have very long legs and leanContinue reading “That fox isn’t too skinny!”
The Booming Bobcat Fur Trade
Wild cats have always been a primary target to fur trappers seeking big money. The demand for the skin of beautiful wild cats nearly drove animals like the leopard, snow leopard, and tiger to extinction. While the sale and trade of big cat furs has declined rapidly since the 1970s thanks to tight international regulations,Continue reading “The Booming Bobcat Fur Trade”
Most American Squirrels Used to be Black
Black squirrels aren’t common anymore in the U.S., but you may still see them if you’re lucky! Believe it or not, there was a time that most squirrels in the U.S. had this interesting (and beautiful!) trait. Black coloration, or melanism, can occur in both fox squirrels and Eastern grey squirrels. Prior to European invasionContinue reading “Most American Squirrels Used to be Black”
Bobcats Have Eye Spots on their Ears
The black and white marks on the back of a bobcat’s ears are actually false eyes. False eyes are very common in nature and appear on all kinds of animals, from birds to butterflies. Among cats, bobcats share their eye-spot ears with lynxes, tigers, leopards, snow leopards, pumas, and servals— among many others! For bobcats,Continue reading “Bobcats Have Eye Spots on their Ears”
There is no such thing as a humane leghold trap!
For Fox Sake has treated several wild animals with horrible injuries caused by leghold traps. In every case we have seen, the traps had been set by people who believed a common industry lie— that modern leghold traps are nothing like those of the past, and that they safely and humanely restrain animals without harm.Continue reading “There is no such thing as a humane leghold trap!”