A behavioral audiogram of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Hear Res. 2015 Feb:320:30-7. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2014.12.001. Epub 2014 Dec 18.


We determined the absolute hearing sensitivity of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) using an adapted standard psychoacoustic procedure. The animals were tested in a reward-based go/no-go procedure in a semi-anechoic chamber. At 60 dB sound pressure level (SPL) (re 20 μPa) red foxes perceive pure tones between 51 Hz and 48 kHz, spanning 9.84 octaves with a single peak sensitivity of -15 dB at 4 kHz. The red foxes' high-frequency cutoff is comparable to that of the domestic dog while the low-frequency cutoff is comparable to that of the domestic cat and the absolute sensitivity is between both species. The maximal absolute sensitivity of the red fox is among the best found to date in any mammal. The procedure used here allows for assessment of animal auditory thresholds using positive reinforcement outside the laboratory.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Foxes / physiology*
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Male
  • Noise
  • Species Specificity