When I saw these pictures over at Zooborns, I knew they had to be this week's dose of cute. These are some of the cutest animals I have ever seen!
These photos were taken by Flickr user PeterH81 at the British Wildlife Centre.
Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are the species that we tend to think of when we think of a "fox." The name comes from their characteristic orange-ish, red-ish brown fur. The fox's amazing flexibility and intelligence that have given it a mischievous reputation have served it well evolutionarily, and the red fox is the most abundant species of fox on the planet. They're found in almost every habitat in the Northern Hemisphere, all the way from Florida to Alaska. These wide-spread canids even out compete their more specialized relatives like the Arctic Fox where the two species overlap. They're not only the most abundant fox species, they're the largest, weighing in at up to 31 lbs.
Interesting fact: Different populations of red foxes display a wide variety of behaviors due to drastically different habitats. It has been stated that two populations of red fox may be as behaviorally different as two different speciescitation.
Aren't they called kits, rather than cubs? Anyway, several years ago, we noticed two of them, younger than the ones in your photos (and even cuter), sticking their heads out from a hole under the edge of our carport slab. I took pictures of their heads, and briefly petted them while feeding them bolonga. The next morning, they were gone. The mother fox (vixen?), who we never saw, moved them away overnight, probably because my hand left a scent on the youngsters.
Wish I hadn't touched them; they might have stayed around a bit longer.