Fox vs. Wolf

Fox vs. Wolf

Fox and wolf are types of mammals that belong to the dog family. There are two species of wolf (grey and red) and 37 species of fox. Foxes and wolves are close relatives of domestic dog. Unlike dogs, they are not very popular among humans because of their cunning mind and unpredictable nature. Wolves and foxes are part of many stories, legends and myths. Although they share common ancestor and many morpho-anatomical features, they differ in many ways:

Geographic Distribution and Habitat

Foxes can be found all over the world except on the Antarctica, while wolves live only on the northern hemisphere. Foxes prefer alpine forests, deserts, coastal areas, farms and urban areas, while wolves inhabit deserts, forests, grasslands and arctic tundra.

Size and Morphology

Wolf is much larger than fox. It can reach around 100 pounds while fox rarely exceeds weight of 20 pounds. Wolf has large, muscular body, broad snout and smaller, less pointed ears compared to a fox. Unlike the wolf, fox has pointed snout, upright, triangular ears and long whiskers. It also has long, bushy tail that often ends with white tip.

Color of the Fur

Most species of fox are reddish-brown colored (white and silver foxes can be also found in the wild) with white fur on the face and chest. Foxes often have dark paws and dark markings on the muzzle and ears. Unlike them, wolves are usually mottled grey. Pure white, brown, red and black wolves can be also found in the wild. Wolves do not have dark markings on the muzzle and ears and their paws are either the same color as the body or lighter in color.

Lifestyle

Foxes are solitary creatures. They sometimes gather in groups of 2 to 3 animals. Wolves are social animals that live in groups, called packs, made of 6 to 10 animals.

Diet

Foxes hunt and eat small reptiles, birds, mammals and insects. They also eat fruit and berries. Unlike them, wolves are true carnivores that hunt and eat bigger prey such as goat, sheep, deer, wild boars, elk and moose.

Vocalization

Foxes communicate with each other via growls, yelping, barking and whining calls, while wolves produce loud howls.

Offspring

Female gray wolf usually gives birth to 5 to 6 babies per season. Litter can be much bigger (14 to 17 babies) when food is abundant. Babies are known as pups and they can be grey, white, brown or black colored. Female fox usually gives birth to 4 to 5 babies. They are also known as kits and they are covered with red, grey, silver or white fur at birth.

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