Wolves are known as fearsome predators and foxes tend to be considered clever and sly little animals. Both are pretty amazing animals in their own right with unique and fascinating traits. In this article, we will compare the specifics of what makes wolf a wolf and what makes a fox a fox before figuring out which one would win in a fight.
What is a Wolf?
The wolf also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large canine native to Eurasia and North America. They have pointed ears, elongated snouts, and bushy tails that curl behind them as a means of expression. The average wolf typically weighs somewhere between 80 and 160 pounds. Wolves can live up to 13 years in the wild, but most die long before that age.
What is a Fox?
Foxes are small to medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. They are small to medium-sized bushy-tailed dogs with long fur, pointed ears, and a narrow snout. The most common species of fox is Red fox and are found on every continent except Antarctica.
|Size||2 meters or. 6.6 feet long||90 to 105 cm or 36 to 42 inches|
|Weight||14 to 65 kg or 31 to 143 lbs.||5 to 7 kg or 10 to 15 lbs.|
|Height||76 cm or 30 inches||40 cm or 15 inches|
|Habitat||North America, Eurasia/ Tundra, woodlands, forest, grasslands, and desert habitats||North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and North Africa/Forests, mountains, grasslands, and deserts.|
|Bite Power||400 PSI||92 PSI|
|Speed||31 to 37 mph||31 mph|
|Color||Combination of white, brown, gray, and black||Red, white, silver, combination of these colors. It is also very common for some foxes to change their coat colors depending on the time of year.|
|Sound||Howling, whimpering, growling, and barking.||Scream, yelp, bark, laugh, or yelp|
|Paws||Large, oval paws with four toes. Long middle toe.||Four toes with a distinct triangular paw pad.|
|Senses||Strong sense of smell, can see in the dark and process rapid movement, and can hear high-pitched sounds.||Excellent sense of smell and hearing. They can quickly see moving objects but might not notice when objects are still.|
Fox vs Wolf [Differences & Strength Comparison]
In this section, we will take a deeper look at the chart and delve into the differences between a wolf and fox.
Wolf vs Fox: Family
The wolf or grey wolf (Canis lupus) and fox or red fox (Vulpes Vulpes) both belong to the canine family. While both two animals are native to North America, wolves can also be found in Europe/Asia. For foxes they are more widely dispersed than wolves are. These clever little animals can be found in North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
You can find about 47 recognized subspecies of foxes compared to the 38 subspecies of wolves. Given this fact, it is no wonder that foxes can be found in more places over the world compared to wolves.
Wolf vs Fox: Size
Wolves are the largest living member of the canine family so you can imagine that they are on larger size. A male wolf is usually around 2 meters or. 6.6 feet long. This also includes the tail. Females are about 20 percent smaller than males.
For foxes, they are significantly smaller than wolves. They can get to about 90 to 105 cm or 36 to 42 inches long. This includes the tail, so if you were not going to count that in length, foxes would be even smaller! Wolves truly do dwarf foxes. Put one in front of a fox and you may not even notice the fox is there.
Wolf vs Fox: Weight
Weight refers to how heavy an object or creature (human, animal, etc.) is. A wolf’s weight can range from 14 to 65 kilograms, or 31 to 143 pounds. This should be no surprise given they are the largest out of all the animals that belong in the canine family.
The fox is much, much lighter than a wolf, which is probably why they are considered to be such nimble and quick creatures in popular media. Foxes can weigh from 5 to 7 kg or 10 to 15 lbs. As you can see, they are significantly lighter than a wolf four or five times heavier than them.
Wolf vs Fox: Height
If you are trying to figure out the height of an animal, it is basically you trying to find out how tall it is while it stands on all of its legs. A wolf stands roughly about 76 centimeters or 30 inches tall at around the shoulder. Again, they are the largest in the canine family. If you are surprised by their sheer size, I do not know what to tell you.
Foxes only reach up to 40 cm or 15 inches. This probably helps these animals fit in such tight and cramped places.
Wolf vs Fox: Habitat
We briefly mentioned that wolves are found in North America and Eurasia, but where specifically? Well, they can be found in places like Alaska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, and even Arizona or New Mexico. Habitat wise, they can live in the tundra, woodlands, forest, grasslands, and deserts.
Foxes are found on every continent on the planet except for Antarctica. To list every specific place would take quite a while given how vast and spread out all over the world they are! Habitat wise they are usually found in forest, but can be also found in mountains, grasslands, and deserts.
Wolf vs Fox: Food
Wolves are carnivores (meat eaters) and especially love eating large, hoofed animals like bison, elk, deer, and moose. However, they will eat smaller mammals if necessary. This includes such animals like beavers, mice, rats, and hares.
Foxes have a more varied diet because they are omnivores. This means that they eat both meat and plants. Plant wise, they eat fruits, berries, and grasses. For meat, they eat small mammals like squirrels, rabbits, and mice. Believe it or not, they even eat invertebrates, including crickets, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, crayfish, and carrion.
Compared to a wolf, a fox has a much more vast and expansive diet.
Wolf vs Fox: Bite Power
Wolves have the most powerful bite power or pressure per square inch in the canine species. Their bite power or PSI is all the way at 406. This is no surprise given that they hunt large, hoofed animals. If something that large is going to be hunted, the predator needs to make sure they have the power to back up the hunt.
A fox’s PSI is much weaker than a wolf’s PSI, which should not be a surprise given the size difference. The foxes PSI gets to 92 PSI. Now it might be less powerful than a wolf, but for such a tiny animal it is pretty impressive. This is even stronger than a coyote.
Wolf vs Fox: Speed
In a fight, the speed of an animal can be extremely important. Especially if they want to flee the fight if they know there is no chance, they can win! A wolf’s range of speed falls between 31 to 37. Pretty impressive for such a large animal.
The fox’s speed sits at about 31 mph. This is to be expected of this nimble animal. While a wolf can run faster, it is impressive that a fox runs at the same pace as a wolf if you take their lowest speed range.
Wolf vs Fox: Color
The most common color of a wolf is a mixture of white, brown, gray, and black. Interestingly enough, there are subspecies in the arctic region that could be completely white.
Foxes actually come in quite a vast number of colors compared to wolves. One of the more common colors is red/orange, but they can also be silver/black, white/grey, and also different color morphs as they call them. This basically means that the fox is a combination of two different colors.
Also, interestingly enough, a fox’s coat can change color depending on the season. Pretty amazing when you think about it!
Wolf vs Fox: Sound
Wolves communicate by howling, whimpering, barking, and growling. There could even be a mixture of sounds like a bark-howl or growl-bark. One of the more typical sounds people think of for wolves is a wolf howl. Now they howl, but they also make sounds other than howling.
Foxes make such noises like backs, growls, yelps, screams, and even laugh! It’s a little more varied than wolves because they can also laugh. This is something one tends to apply to only a hyena, but other animals can laugh as well!
Wolf vs Fox: Paws
Both foxes and wolves have paws, but there are some differences when you inspect them. For wolves, they also have four toes and an oval-shaped paw. The main difference is that the middle toe of a wolf is usually longer, with some webbing that can be found between the toes.
Foxes obviously have a smaller paw. Their paw has four toes with a distinct triangular paw pad. It is much smaller when compared to a wolf’s paw print, so if you saw them side by side, you would see a sizable difference. A fox print might even fit inside a wolf print!
Wolf vs Fox: Senses
A wolf’s senses are very powerful, but this should come as no surprise. They have a strong sense of smell, can see in the dark and process rapid movement, and can hear high-pitched sounds.
For Foxes, they have an excellent sense of smell and hearing. They can quickly see moving objects but might not notice when objects are still. Still, their vision is much better than say our vision is.
Both animals have their weak and strong points, as any other animal would have when you are comparing the two of them.
Who Would Win in a Fight? Wolf or Fox
Now we reach the ultimate question that we posed at the beginning of this article. Which animal will win in a fight between a wolf and a fox?
Well, if a fight breaks out between a wolf and a fox, it should come as no surprise that a wolf will win hands down. It really would not be much of a fight, to be honest. Now, you could theorize that the fox could attempt to run and hide in a small area that a wolf cannot fit into. This is entirely possible. However, wolves run at the same speed as foxes and faster. It would not take much effort for the wolves to catch up to the fox. Once they do, their large size and bite power of 400 psi is going to pulverize the poor little fox.
Foxes are amazing, clever little animals when you think about it. They are quite nimble and amazing to watch or learn about. In a fight, the fox would have to run right away and hide very well to even have a chance of surviving. Given that we think of foxes as clever animals in popular media, myths, legends, etc. maybe they could pull it off.
After all, stranger things have happened in the world!
And there you have it, all of our dear readers. We carefully and painstakingly went through all the things that end up making a fox a fox and a wolf a wolf before comparing these animals side by side. While a fox is a very interesting animal in its own right, it simply cannot stand up to a wolf in a fight.
Strength often plays a big role in a fight and determines who will come out the winner. Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course, there is (as there is to everything), but more often than not the stronger animal is going to be the one to come out the winner and be the one to claim victory.