Fennec nox portrait. By nattanan726 | Shutterstock.com
Fennec nox portrait. By nattanan726 | Shutterstock.com

About the fennec fox.

It is the smallest existing wild canid or fox species, with barely the size of a kitten, and it has the largest ears.

One of the uses of their large ears is to detect and locate potential prey, even under the ground of the desert where they live. They can rotate their ears to very accurately locate where an insect or animal sound comes from.

Besides the hearing, these animals’ ears help them dissipate the heat from their bodies and keep cooler in the desert heat.

They are very family oriented animals. They mate for life and have litters every year, taking care of the babies until next litter is born. They also live in little communities which size depends on the amount of environmental resources.

The fennec fox has thick fur on its paw pads to avoid getting burnt by the desert sand during hotter hours and to protect them from the cold at night.

They are nocturnal animals. They keep active during the night to stay warm and hunt their prey with their acute sense of hearing.

These animals can survive without drinking water. They get it from the roots, fruit and animals they eat and their kidneys are adapted to help them retain water in their bodies.

The main predator of these foxes is the Eagle owl. Other predators include hyenas, jackals and caracals.

When they are happy, these animals purr like cats.

They dig dens in the sand, close to areas with roots that provide them with extra protection. They build a tunnel system with multiple exits where several families live together.

Despite their tiny size, they can jump high, which helps them capture their prey.

As they are not endangered, these animals are hunted for their fur and to be kept as a pets (it is the only fox species that can be domesticated). In the IUCN list, it is classified as “Least concern”.

Fennec fox. By hagit berkovich | Shutterstock.com
Fennec fox. By hagit berkovich | Shutterstock.com
Fennec foxLeast concern
Vulpes zerda24 – 41 cm (9 – 16 in)
Canidae1.5 – 3.5 lb (0.68 – 1.59 kg)
CarnivoraUp to 14 years
Mammalia50 – 52 days
This species is commonIt is omnivorous. It feeds on plants, rodents, birds, eggs and rabbits.
They inhabit deserts and extremely arid areas.Sahara, North of Africa.

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