Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mousing in the Snow - Facing North Works Best

Field biologists studying mousing behavior of red foxes hunting in snow observed that if they are positioned in a northerly direction, they are successful about 72% if the time. In other positions they are mostly unsuccessful.

This suggests that foxes somehow use magnetic alignment to estimate distance in targeting prey under snow.

Watch this elegant footage of a fox mousing in the snow.

Scientists suspect foxes use information from earth's magnetic field as a range finder, somehow sensing magnetic northerly direction as a patch of dark or light.


Read the scientific publication in the January 12, 2011 issue of Biology Letters.


  1. Great photos of the fox on the hunt. We see them on occasion but mostly when they cross the road, as we are driving. Usually we have a lot of coyotes out hunting in the fields, but havn't heard them this year.


  2. Wow! Just awesome, clever, very clever, but then it IS as matter of survival!!!!