FOX, a name (female, "vixen" 1) properly applicable to the single wild British representative of the family Canidae (see Carnivora), but in a wider sense used to denote fox-like species from all parts of the world, inclusive of many from South America which do not really belong to the same group. The fox was included by Linnaeus in the same genus with the dog and the wolf, under the name of Canis vulpes, but at the present day is regarded by most naturalists as the type of a separate genus, and should then be known as Vulpes alopex or Vulpes vulpes.
The feminine "vixen" represents the O.
After a gestation of from 60 to 65 days, the vixen during the month of April gives birth to cubs, of which from five to eight usually go to form a litter.
In the care and defence of her young the vixen displays extraordinary solicitude and boldness, altogether losing on such occasions her accustomed timidity and caution.
Apart from some southern dialect forms which have found their way into the literary language, as vat (for fat or wine fat which still survives in the English Bible) and vixen the feminine of fox, all the words in English which begin with V are of foreign, and most of Latin origin.
He was a party to the publication of the " Portfolio " in 1834, and to the mission of the " Vixen " to force the blockade of Circassia about the same time.