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Foxes, scientifically referred to as vulpines, is a common name to properly refer to any one of the 27 species of small to medium sized omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family, bearing vulpine characteristics, particularly the sharp features and the brush-like tail.
Todd (originally tod), is the Scottish term for a male fox. The term is used frequently to describe a male fox, especially since the more common term, dog, has obvious potential for confusion.
The most common species associated with a fox is the red fox.
 Foxes and furry
This may be due to the frequent anthropomorphization of the fox in literature such as in Aesop's Fables, and movies such as Disney's Robin Hood. In addition, the fox is part of popular figures of speech, such as "the fox guarding the henhouse", "crazy as a fox", "she's a fox", etc.
As the fox is portrayed frequently and in a myriad of ways, this may give it broader appeal, and make it easier for people to associate with; hence, its popularity as a fursona.
 Characters and fursonas
In the aforementioned media, the fox is portrayed as mischievous and cunning (Aesop), or heroic (Robin Hood), but in furry fandom, the fox is such a universally popular character that it is in no way restricted to those traits. In fact, furries choosing the fox as their fursona typically fall into one of the following three categories:
- Realistic -- Often chosen by those who desire a quiet, introspective, and perhaps shy persona. This is likely due in part from observing the mannerism of the fox in its natural habitat, and observing its quiet beauty in photographs. Moreover, these people are often intelligent, choosing the fox for its fabled cunning.
- Toony -- Although the fox is seldom portrayed as a buffoon in popular media, many furries choose to portray the fox in a silly manner. Toony fox fursuits are popular, as is playful online roleplaying. Furries may run over a fox with a steamroller, whilst chatting on Anthrochat. Furries who carry their affinity for sports over into their character would fall into this category as well.
- Yiffy -- As with any other species, a percentage of furries wish to emphasize an adult sense of playfulness in their character, and the fox is no exception. Often foxes are chosen by those who consider themselves submissive as well.
Since the fox enjoys such widespread popularity as a fursona, occasionally multiple furries with fox fursonas will choose the same name, which causes confusion. Indeed, on popular servers with many users, a fox furry may be unable to obtain the user name of choice, and may be forced to add one or more numbers after the username to differentiate from other users. This is probably the source of the assertion that "foxes are numbered", but in reality, they are not yet identified by sequential enumeration.
Foxes, in old religions, were associated with gender changes. (For example, kitsune were traditionally depicted as being able to turn into an old man, a young woman, or a mature fox, as desired.) It may not be coincidental, then, that (according to Pounced) the fox is the most common phenotype among transgendered furs, with almost 1 in 6 being vulpine.
- Vixen redirects here. For the artist, see Vixen (person).
The word vixen is related to fox, although in a roundabout way. It comes from the Old English fyxen, the feminine form of fox, formed by the addition of the feminine suffix -en. However all other words formed by this suffix have since been lost, so the word vixen represents the sole word containing the Old English feminine suffix that survives in the modern language (one notable one was wylfen, meaning a female wolf). This distinction has a cognate in other Germanic languages where the feminine suffix is still productive. For example in German the general Fuchs is Füchsin in the feminine, formed by the addition of the feminine suffix -in. The change from f to v is a result of the West Country dialect accent that voiced initial f sounds in a few words (vixen, vane, vat) to v.
Being a notorious sexy female label in human porn and erotica, "vixen" is sometimes used to refer generically to sexy female furry characters in contexts such as cheesecake art. They're also the obvious candidate species for creations such as the infamous Vixen Vending Machine from FurryMUCK. Another common stereotype for a vixen, based on this label is that they are in heat far more often than other species would be or even non stop.
A furry equivalent of the "dumb blonde" stereotype applies to many fox characters, leading to practices like the telling of "vixen jokes". This is directly contradicted by the "cunning fox" stereotype however, so foxes can be clichéd as either ditzy or devious. (For an example of the former, see Sheila Vixen ; for the latter, see Räven.) West Corner Of the Park bases many of its running gags around the supposed stupidity of foxes.
Voop is the less often used variant of the term vixen (a female fox). The term is also a spoof on the word vulpine (fox-like). There's a still less used plural version of the term, voopies. The Voops (Melonie Voop and Edith Voop) are fox characters on the Funday PawPet Show. Richard Hallock's Virtual Vikki was known as the original "Digi-Voop".
 See also
- Fox on Wikipedia
- Tod (character)
- Foxish language
- Category:Fox species
- Category:Fox characters
- Phys.org article suggesting foxes catch their pray using the Earth's magnetic field as a form of range-finder.