Foxes are beautiful sly animals that have been loved by humans for hundreds of years, and they can be found across the globe.
There are many different types of foxes; for example, in America, you will find the grey fox, the red fox in England, and the arctic fox can be found in the northern hemisphere.
But one common question that is often asked is, what noise do they make?
The mystery of the sound of a fox has echoed through popular culture for many years, through examples such as the song “what does the fox say,” which was released in 2013 by Ylvis, but have you ever heard one?
Where did foxes evolve from?
Foxes are close relatives of dogs, so their vocal cords are also capable of barking.
They share many traits with dogs, such as wagging tales when they are happy or excited and growling when angry or threatened.
As well as barking from time to time, foxes can sometimes howl just like wolves.
But they also have some unique traits too. One of these is their scream or cry!
Do all foxes make the same sounds?
Most foxes will bark to communicate and cry or scream on rarer occasions.
Different breeds of foxes have different pitched screams; the red fox has the highest pitch.
This eerie sound is often mistaken for humans screaming or shrieking for help.
This comparable sound to human screams has created confusion and great mystery around the fox scream.
Are they crying for help?
Although the fox cry sounds similar to a human call when in distress, foxes actually do it for a very different reason.
This specific call is used differently by both male and female foxes and can be referred to as a cry or scream depending if it is a male fox or female fox projecting it.
The males call is considered more of a scream, which they will use as a sign of aggression when they are threatened by predators or mating competitors.
The male fox will scream to warn off other foxes to mark his territory once he has found a mate.
It is referred to as a “scream” than a bark because the foxes hold the cry longer than the latter.
It could be compared to the scream of someone when something makes them jump.
Why do female foxes cry?
The female fox call is associated with a cry as it resembles a human shrieking.
This is generally because the cry itself is often held for longer, similar to howling.
Although, both male and female foxes make the noise when mating.
Unlike males who scream for protection, the female fox will cry to signal that she is looking for a partner.
The high-pitched noise and holding the cry longer, similar to a howl, means she can be heard further away.
Once they have a mating partner, it is common for both foxes to continue crying or screaming during the mating process. It helps them to keep competition at bay.
Why is the fox cry associated with being scary?
The only time of year you will be able to hear this noise is during their mating season, which is during the month of January.
What makes their cry even creepier is that you will most likely hear them at night as foxes are nocturnal creatures.
This combination of the eerie crying noise at night during the dark winter months have given them a reputation for scaring unsuspecting humans in the night.
Foxes often live in urban areas as they are able to scavenge food from garbage cans, so they are almost always near where humans can hear them.
It is the humans’ misconception that has created the mystery surrounding the foxes’ cries and screams.
Foxes can be found all over the world, from Africa, Scandinavia to North America, and will continue to live alongside humans for many years to come.
Now you know what noise the fox makes, you can trick your friends during a spooky winter evening!