The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is a mammal of the order Carnivora ranging throughout most of the southern half of North America from southern Canada to northern Venezuela and Colombia. This species and the closely related Island Fox are the only living members of the genus Urocyon, which is considered to be among the most primitive of the living canids. Though it was once the most common fox in the east, human advancement allowed the red fox to become more dominant. The Pacific States still have the gray fox as a dominant.
Ten Facts about Common Gray Fox
- The gray fox appeared during the mid Pliocene epoch 3.6 million years ago.
- The gray fox ranges from 800 to 1125 mm (31.5 to 41.3 inches) in length. Its tail measures 275 to 443 mm (10.8 to 17.5 inches) and its hind feet measure 100 to 150 mm (4.9 to 5.9 inches).
- It weighs 3.6 to 6.82 kg (7.9 to 15 lbs).
- The Common Gray Fox is a good tree climber and often hides in trees.
- The gray fox is monogamous
- The breeding season of the gray fox varies geographically; in Michigan, the gray fox mates in early March, in Alabama, breeding peaks occur in February.
- Kits begin to hunt with their parents at the age of 3 months. By the time they are 4 months old, the kits will have developed their permanent dentition and can now easily forage on their own.
- The gray fox is a solitary hunter and is largely omnivorous. It frequently preys upon the Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), though it will readily catch voles, shrews, and birds. The gray fox supplements its diet with whatever fruits are readily available.
- The gestation period lasts maybe about 53 days.
- The gray fox can be found from southern Canada to northern Columbia and Venezuela.