Foxes are arguably one of the most fascinating creatures in the world. They are swift, elusive, but downright mesmerizing. However, many people are still pretty clueless about their actual size.
How big is a fox? It depends on the species of the fox. For instance, the average shoulder height of a red fox is around 15 to 20 inches. Their body length ranges from 18 to 35 inches. Meanwhile, a fennec fox grows up to 8 inches tall while weighing up to 3 pounds.
However, keep in mind that there are more than thirty species of fox. They vary in body size, as well as in their weight. Among them, red foxes are considered the biggest, while the fennec foxes belong to the small canid category.
Table of Contents
How Big Is a Full-Grown Fox?
The biggest fox species under the Vulpes genus is the red fox. Within this species, variations in sizes are a normal occurrence, making it tricky to size them up. Frequently, they appear bigger than their actual body size.
Generally, most full-grown foxes are similar in size to domestic medium breed dogs. From head to the body, their size ranges from 18 inches to 36 inches. Including their tail (or brush), these foxes can have a total body length of roughly 5 feet. Meanwhile, their shoulder height is around 15 inches tall. Their average body weight is 8 pounds.
The size of these full-grown red foxes also varies depending on their gender. Adult male foxes have a body length that ranges between 26 inches to 28 inches. Meanwhile, adult female foxes are around 24 inches to 26 inches long.
On the flip side, the fennec foxes are considered the smallest species of foxes. When it comes to their body size, they are comparable to chihuahuas. In fact, some people think that these two animals are related because of their similarities. However, they are not. After all, they don’t belong to the same species or genus. Generally, an adult fennec fox has a body length of 12 inches to 16 inches. Their shoulder height is roughly 8 inches tall, and they can weigh up to 3 pounds.
How Big Is the Biggest Fox?
As mentioned earlier, the biggest species of fox is the Vulpes vulpes or red fox, having a total body length (including their tail) of almost 5 feet. They are evidently ubiquitous in the northern hemisphere, including North America, North Africa, and certain Eurasia. Keep in mind that male red foxes are heavier than their vixens by roughly 20 percent.
Interestingly, many are claiming the accolade of “the biggest fox ever caught or killed.” The most recent record is during March 2012 where gamekeepers shot two foxes on different occasions. So, the first one was hunted in East Sussex. This fox is said to weigh around 35 pounds while measuring 4 feet and 3 inches long. The second fox was taken down in Aberdeenshire, which is located in the northeast of Scotland. The fox has a total body length of 4 feet and 9 inches long. It was shot while it was feasting on lambs.
Fox Kits Size
A fox kit is a baby fox, which makes them extremely small. They only weigh roughly 4 ounces and have a body length of 4 inches. After a month, fox kits can grow up to 2.5 pounds.
Interestingly, you can determine the age of a fox kit by checking the hue of its fur. Six weeks since their birth, they maintain a neutral fur color. After this said period, they will start to molt, eventually showcasing the natural color of their fur.
Furthermore, fox kits are blind for the first two weeks after their birth. Hence, they require proper care.
Fox Skull Size
Notably, a red fox skull has an average length of up 5 to 6 inches long, while its width is about 3 inches. The snout of the skull is slim and prolonged. Moreover, they are pretty distinct, given that they have massive eye sockets. They also have a set of 42 teeth.
How Big Is a Fox Footprint?
The average footprint size of red foxes is about 1.75 inches to 2.5 inches long. Their width ranges from 1.5 inches to 2 inches. Notably, fox footprints have an oval shape, with four toes forming a triangular structure.
Here’s an interesting fact. The footprints of gray foxes are more distinct than red foxes. After all, the latter have furry feet and small pads.
Sizes of Common Type of Foxes
How Big Do Red Foxes Get?
Adult red foxes have a maximum body length and a shoulder height of 35 inches and 20 inches, respectively. Meanwhile, they can get up to 31 pounds, especially if they receive regular nourishment.
How Big Does Arctic Fox Get?
The third-largest species of foxes is the arctic fox. During the winter, they appear larger because of the increased growth of their fur, cladding their body with a cozy winter coat. Of course, arctic fox vixens are smaller than their male counterparts. The shoulder height of these arctic foxes can be as tall as 12 inches. Its full head-to-body length is 27 inches long. Full-grown arctic fox can be as heavy as 10 pounds.
How Big Does Gray Fox Get?
Gray foxes are in between red foxes and arctic foxes when it comes to body size. They are larger than arctic foxes but slightly smaller than red foxes. Thanks to the black stripe on its tail and back, it is easy to identify a gray fox. Interestingly, when a red fox morphs, there’s a chance that it will develop a similar appearance to a gray fox.
The average height of a gray fox is 15 inches. It has a head-to-body length of 24 inches. In their adulthood, the gray foxes can weigh up to 8.5 pounds.
How Big Does Fennec Fox Get?
Fennec foxes are small fox species. So it is not a surprise that their body structure is not as big as red foxes or gray foxes. In fact, they are only 8 inches tall on average. Their total body length is roughly 16 inches long, which is a half shorter than red foxes. They only weigh up to 3 pounds.
Fennec foxes are inhabitants of the desert. Hence, their population is abundant in the Arabian and African regions. They like to feed on small creatures, such as rodents and critters.
How Big Is a Fox Compared to a Coyote?
Needless to say, coyotes are bigger than foxes. A coyote has an average body length of 3 to 4.5 feet. If you include their tail, they can grow longer than 5 feet. Meanwhile, a fox has an average head-to-body length of 1 to 3 feet. With their tail, their total body length is roughly 5 feet.
Coyotes are heavier, too. Well-fed adult coyotes may reach 50 pounds. Foxes generally weigh from two to 30 pounds.
Frequently Asked Question
How Big Is a Normal Fox?
A normal fox is about 1.5 feet to 3 feet long (head to body). With its tail, a fox can be as long as 5 feet. The shoulder height ranges from 14 inches to 20 inches.
How Big Is a Male Fox?
A male fox is slightly bigger than a female fox. Its body length grows an average of 26 inches to 28 inches. On the other hand, a female fox is about 24 inches to 26 inches long.
Based on the facts listed above, it is evident that foxes aren’t as big as other canines in the wild. There are also different fox species, which makes their body sizing not entirely uniform. Red foxes are the biggest among the group, while fennec foxes are the smallest.
Because of their body structure, foxes are agile and dexterous predators. They can hunt small animals such as rodents, making them effective pest controllers in farms.
List of Sources
Red Fox. University of Michigan.
Small Mammal House: Fennec Fox. Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.
Schuttler, S. (2016). Confusing Canids: Differentiating Red Foxes, Grey Foxes, and Coyotes. eMammal.