These cute little foxes are called the fennec fox. They live in the Northern part of the Sahara desert and are the smallest member of the canid family. They lack a musk gland, and are very social animals. These diminutive foxes tout the largest ears of any fox and are the size of a small cat or large kitten.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Vulpes zerda
Height: 8 inches
Weight: 1.5 – 3.5 lbs
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Those huge ears of theirs serve a dual purpose. They give the fennecs fantastic hearing for predators and prey and they also help to vent heat from the fox’s body, which aids in cooling them down.
2.) These foxes are monogamous (they mate for life).
3.) The fennec fox has really furry paws. This helps keep them from burning their feet in the hot desert sand.
4.) Fennec foxes yield just 1 – 2 pups a year and the pups stay with mom and dad, even when a new litter is born.
5.) Fennecs live in groups of as many as 10 individuals, although this size can vary based on the availability of food.
But wait, there’s more on the fennec fox!
6.) The fennec foxes are so completely adapted to desert life that they are able to live without drinking water. Instead, fennec foxes gain most of their water from the roots, fruits, leaves, eggs, and prey animals.
7.) The fennecs are noturnal (awake during the night). This helps them avoid the daytime heat and most predators.
Did you know…?
Fennec foxes can be kept as pets! They do require special attention, experience, socialization, and dietary needs though.
8.) Fennec foxes are omnivores (they eat plant and animal matter).
9.) A fennec can jump up to 2 feet in the air!