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What is this red fox doing?

red fox

According to the National Geographic’s explanation of this photo that won an honorable mention in a photography contest, it was taken at Squaw Creek, Park Country, Wyoming and shows a red fox after having made a dive to catch a mouse under snow. The photo is by Michael Eastman who also provides the caption: “With his exceptional hearing a red fox has targeted a mouse hidden under 2 feet of crusted snow. Springing high in the air he breaks through the crusted spring snow with his nose and his body is completely vertical as he grabs the mouse under the snow.”

You can see a short video of how the fox does it.

The other photo contest winners can be seen here.

Comments

  1. blindrobin says

    Diving for a meal, probably a field mouse or similar. The fox has excellent hearing and can pin point the location of it’s prey through the snow, and having done so dives in and with surprising efficiency snaps it up and devours it.

  2. blindrobin says

    Ooops, posted answer to what I thought was a non-rhetorical question before reading the post.

  3. Robert B. says

    Failing to catch the roadrunner, from the looks of it.

    Just watch, when he gets up he’s gonna be all accordion-y.

  4. says

    Here where I live, In the North of England, we have quite a healthy population of foxes. Its not uncommon for people to capture footage of one or more young cubs bouncing around merrily on trampolines in peoples gardens (usuaully in the early hours of the morning).

    This apparantly ties in with the foxes’ pouncing method of preying on small mammals. Similar to the above video. Great fun to watch also.

  5. Scr... Archivist says

    Fox in the snow, where do you go
    To find something you can eat?
    Because the word out on the street is you are starving
    Don’t let yourself grow hungry now
    Don’t let yourself grow cold
    Fox in the snow
    — Belle and Sebastian

    Well, now I have an answer to that question.

  6. baal says

    It could have just been bored and leaping head first into the snow for amusement. Free mouse was just a bonus.

    I have a pet aquatic turtle. It’s pretty funny to watch it stalk prey and then strike. The behaviour is just like a tiger – just more wet. It particularly likes snails. Which it also carefully stalks and then strikes. Turns out the drama is pretty much beside the point for snails. At best it knocks it off the side of the tank (which it can and does do with a a simple flipper swipe). The real action is when the turtle pulls its head in, sticks both front claws up and forward and then uses the claws from both paws to pry the snail out of the shell.

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