Gray Fox

Gray Fox

name = Gray FoxMSW3 Wozencraft | pages = | id = 14000841]
status = LC
status_system = iucn2.3
status_ref = IUCN2007|assessors=Cypher "et al"|year=2004|id=22780|title=Urocyon cinereoargenteus|downloaded=06 May 2008 Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern]
trend = stable

regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Carnivora
familia = Canidae
genus = "Urocyon"
species = "U. cinereoargenteus"
binomial = "Urocyon cinereoargenteus"
binomial_authority = (Schreber, 1775)

range_map_caption = Gray Fox range

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.cite web | title="Urocyon cinereoargenteus" | work=Animal Diversity Web | url= | accessdate=2007-08-19 ] 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.

Description and behaviour

The Gray Fox is distinguished from most other canids by its grizzled upper parts, buff neck and black-tipped tail, while the skull can be distinguished from all other North American canids by its widely separated temporal ridges that form a U-shape. There is little sexual dimorphism, save for the males being slightly larger than females. 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 Gray Fox's ability to climb trees is shared only with the Asian Raccoon Dog among canids. Its strong, hooked claws allow it to scramble up trees to escape predators such as the Domestic Dog or the Coyote, or to reach tree-bound or arboreal food sources. It descends primarily by jumping from branch to branch, or by descending slowly backwards as a House Cat. The Gray Fox is nocturnal or crepuscular and dens in hollow trees, stumps or appropriated burrows during the day.


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. The gestation period lasts about 53 days. Litter size ranges from 1 to 7. Kits begin to hunt with their parents at the age of 3 months. By the time they are 4 months old, the kits have developed their permanent dentition and can forage on their own. The family group remains together until autumn when the young reach sexual maturity and disperse.


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 and generally eats more vegetable matter than does the Red Fox ("Vulpes vulpes").


There are 16 subspecies recognized for this fox:
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus cinereoargenteus"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus borealis"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus californicus"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus costaricensis"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus floridanus"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus fraterculus"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus furvus"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus guatemalae"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus madrensis"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus nigrirostris"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus ocythous"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus orinomus"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus peninsularis"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus scottii"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus townsendi"
*"Urocyon cinereoargenteus venezuelae"



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gray Fox — Personnage de fiction Genre Masculin Espèce Humain Activité(s) Membre de Fox Hound …   Wikipédia en Français

  • gray fox — n. either of two New World foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus or U. littoralis) having short gray and white hair and able to climb trees …   English World dictionary

  • Gray fox — For other uses, see Gray fox (disambiguation). Gray fox[1] Conservation status …   Wikipedia

  • gray fox — a fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus, ranging from Central America through the southwestern and eastern U.S., having blackish gray upper parts and rusty yellowish feet, legs, and ears. [1670 80, Amer.] * * * Grizzled, gray furred New World fox… …   Universalium

  • gray fox — noun dark grey American fox; from Central America through southern United States • Syn: ↑grey fox, ↑Urocyon cinereoargenteus • Hypernyms: ↑fox • Member Holonyms: ↑Urocyon, ↑genus Urocyon * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • gray fox — noun Date: circa 1679 a fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) with coarse gray hair and white underparts that occurs from southern Canada to northern South America …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Gray Fox (personaje) — Gray Fox es un personaje ficticio de la saga de videojuegos Metal Gear. Es considerado como uno de los mejores soldados del mundo, siendo el único miembro de las FOXHOUND en conseguir el nombre en clave «Fox». Nacido como Frank Jaeger, hijo de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gray Fox (Metal Gear) — Gray Fox Character study illustration by Yoji Shinkawa, depicting Gray Fox before and after becoming the Cyborg Ninja, with an alternate image featuring his face plate open Series Metal Gear …   Wikipedia

  • Gray Fox (disambiguation) — Gray Fox or Grey Fox may refer to:*the Gray Fox, a species of fox found in North, Central and northern South America *the South American Gray Fox, a species of fox found in southern South America * Gray Fox was one of the codenames given to the… …   Wikipedia

  • South American gray fox — South American gray fox[1] Conservation status …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.