Fox kits practise their hunting skills, Quebec, Canada
© Vlad Kamenski/Shutterstoc
Keep practising, little guy. Fox kits
These red fox kits might look like they’re just enjoying playtime in a Canadian field, but this is serious business. The kits are practising crucial hunting skills. Called ‘mousing’, a fox jumps high so it can surprise its prey from above. These little kits are going to get the hang of it pretty quickly, too. Baby foxes grow up fast, after about a year they're ready to leave the den. This pair is about four months old, which is about when they’ll get pushed out to hunt for themselves.
There’s no denying that fox hops are cute, but scientists have observed something interesting about them. When a fox is on the hunt, regardless of the time of day, weather, or other factors that could affect how it sees its prey, a fox will almost always jump facing north east. When it's forced to jump in another direction, the hunt is rarely successful. It’s believed foxes use the Earth’s magnetic field to measure distance, which increases their accuracy. Clever as a fox, indeed.