• !5-inch Rodman Cannon

    Civil War Defenses of Washington

    District of Columbia

Gray Fox

gray fox

NPS Photo

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Urocyon

Characteristics: The gray fox is a peppery gray on top and reddish-brown on its sides, chest, and the back of its head. Its legs and feet are also a reddish color. It has a long bushy tail with a black stripe on top. The gray fox has pointed ears, a pointed muzzle, and long hooked claws. The gray fox is a solitary hunter and eats a wide variety of foods. A large part of its diet is made up of small mammals like mice, voles and eastern cottontail rabbits. It also eats birds, insects, and plants like corn, apples, nuts, berries, and grass. In the summer and autumn, grasshoppers and crickets are an important part of its diet.

Habitat: The gray fox lives in a wide variety of habitats but prefers wooded areas. They are the only canids that can climb trees. Gray foxes usually den in crevices in the rocks, in underground burrows, under rocks, in hollow logs, or in hollow trees.

Did You Know?

Brachyphyllum crassicarde fossil

During the Cretaceous Period, 120 million years ago, the Fort Foote property was swamp land, much different from today. Warm adapted plants such as Brachyphyllum crassicarde lived in this habitat (fossil photo to the right). As the climate began to change, this plant as well as many others died out.