Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Florida has two kinds of foxes, but they're easy to recognize. The tip of the tail of our red fox is always white; the tip of the tail of our gray fox is always dark gray or black. Other than the color of the tip of the tail, both foxes show a great deal of variation, although the red fox is generally red above and white below and the gray fox is mostly gray above with a black stripe down its back and light gray below. The gray fox, however, can show a considerable amount of red around its neck and on its sides. And some red foxes can be mostly black, though they still have that white-tipped tail. Both of our foxes produce about five pups each spring and raise them in a den that can be an elaborate burrow system. When young foxes are about two-thirds grown, they begin to wander from the den and are then known as kits. Ties between parents and young are broken at summer's end. Our two foxes are closely related to one another and are distant relatives of our domestic dogs. Foxes differ from dogs in several ways. One is that the pupils of a fox's eyes are elliptical like a cat's eyes, unlike the rounded pupils of dogs.
'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.