While we’re on the subject of foxes…
…researchers have suggested that foxes use the Earth’s magnetic field to judge the distance to their prey and make a more accurate pounce.
They found that foxes prefer to jump in a north-easterly direction, around 20 degrees off from magnetic north. Foxes were more likely to make a kill if they jumped along this axis, particularly if their prey was hidden by high cover or snow. If they pounced to the north-east, they killed on 73% of their attacks; if they jumped from the north east the success rate was 60%. In all other directions, only 18% of their pounces were successful.
As these findings held true in all seasons and weathers, day or night, it was concluded that the foxes were not using enviromental cues, that they could only be aligning themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field.