A fox without a doubt known as being one of the most innate hunters in the animal kingdom. This is a creature that is known for preying on smaller rodents like mice, rabbits, rats, and even some species of birds. With its quick reaction time, uncanny wits, and sharp talons, the fox can strike and render his prey useless in just a matter of seconds.
Despite this, you might be surprised to learn that the fox is prey as well. That’s right, it goes back to that old adage of – there is always something bigger or better out there in the world than you. What eats a fox?
Foxes don’t have many predators. Not to say that they cannot be caught and eaten by a cougar, coyote, or dog, but it would take too much effort for these predators with little payoff. This goes for many common small predators like cats and birds of prey.
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It doesn’t take an animal genius to know that the wolf is the apex predator in the Canidae family. The wolf is right at the top of the charts, but the thing about this is that the wolf isn’t as adaptable as some of the other members.
That’s right, wolves were really only bred for colder climates. While there are some species that can survive in warmer temperatures, most of them usually don’t fair well.
This means that wolves do no reside everywhere a fox resides. In fact, wolves are mainly indigent to the Northern Hemisphere and mostly North American, Asia, and some parts of Europe.
It is true that there are foxes in these areas as well, but foxes have the innate ability to survive almost any climate.
That being said, there is no denying the fact that the wolf is indeed the world’s biggest and most powerful canid. It is the apex predator of the Northern Hemisphere that likes to hunt in a pack, which makes it even more deadly.
Foxes are not one of their preferred meals, but if their food sources are low or scarce and they cross paths with a lowly fox, you best rest assured that they will strike.
They’ll pounce of the opportunity as soon as it presents itself.
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As of recent years, the Lynx population has been in decline, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t exist in certain parts of the world. This species of creature would include anything from the bobcat lynx to the Canada Lynx, and Eurasian Lynx as well as the Iberian Lynx.
That being said, lynxes are more of a larger cat creature than the wolf, so they are more well equipped to hunt the fox if they so wished.
A fox would literally be more a fight for the apex predator than it would for the Lynx. The only chance that a fox would stand against a lynx is speed. Foxes are faster with more stamina and might just stand a chance if they get an early start.
However, if it comes to a straight-up fight, you best rest assured that the lynx will walk away from the battle the easy winner every time.
What’s even more interesting about this is that these creatures are destined to come into contact with each other because they share some dietary and hunting similarities.
They hunt similar prey and if food is scarce enough, it is more than possible that they might run into each other. If this was the case and the opportunity was there, the lynx would pounce.
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Coyotes, Jackals, And Wild Dogs
You might be surprised to hear it, but it is actually quite common for the North American Coyote, the golden jackal, and the fox to lock horns, so to speak. And, this is once again because they share similar hunting proclivities.
This will be especially true when the food sources are scarce, and this is something that happens at least once a year.
That being said, there is always the law of competitive exclusion that comes into play. Competitive exclusion basically means that you always have to have a winner and a loser.
Where there are two species hunting the same food sources, there is one that is going to thrive where the other fails. Just like when two sports teams go head to head. There is always a winner and a loser. Unfortunately, it looks though as if the coyote and the jackal are on the losing end of this stick.
The fox seems to be fairing much better in terms of survival due to the fact that their numbers are just higher. Maybe it is because they are craftier because if there is one thing for certain, it is that the fox isn’t much of a match for the coyote or jackal.
Sure, they’ll put up a fight, but 9 out of 10 times, it will be the fox that is on the losing end of this battle.
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Some Birds Of Prey
You might be surprised to learn that the fox actually hunts some species of birds. Of course, this would be the smaller species and only when they can catch them. As you can imagine, bagging a bird would be no easy feat, even for a crafty creature like the fox.
Well, the food chain and mother nature can be cruel and that’s exactly what it is in this sense because there are also some birds that will hunt the fox. As you can imagine, these would have to be much larger species.
Large raptor birds like the eagles and red-tailed hawks are commonly known for preying on mammals. There are just two of the species that will eat foxes as well.
And, they’ll come out ahead every time because they have the advantage of attacking from above. They’ll likely hit the fox so fast and hard that it won’t know what happened.
He’ll be stunned and by the time he realizes he was attacked it’ll simply be too late. The bird will likely already be going for the killing blow. That being said, some birds of prey like the hawks and falcons could easily pick up a baby fox and carry it away.
This is just an example of how big and powerful these creatures truly are.
The food chain is weird and mother nature can be cruel at times. You can clearly see that when you look at the fox. While he is a crafty and sly creature that is more than capable of fending for himself, he always has to be on the lookout as well because the danger is there.
Having lasted as long as they have alongside humans and their predators, the fox has learned to adapt.
And, they’ll likely only keep evolving and adapting as time goes on. It is pretty apparent that none of the predators, including humans, have affected the fox’s population. Their numbers are still higher than ever.