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Fennec Fox

About...

Scientific View: Vulpes zerda

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Size: Head & Body: 10-16 in; Tail: 7-12 in; Ear length: 6-8 in; Weight 2-6 lbs.

Habitat: Desert and semi-desert terrain

Range:  Northern Africa, throughout the Sahara Desert, East to the Sinai Peninsula and Arabia

Diet:Fennecs are omnivores. They will feed upon rodents, lizards, roots, birds, insects, eggs, and plants.

Life Span:11-14 years in the wild; longer life span in captivity

The fennec fox is the smallest member in the Canidae family. They have a fawn to golden color fur which provides camouflage against the sandy desert. Their ears are the largest ears in relation to body size of any canid and are even larger than their head! Having such large ears keep the foxes cool, by helping to dissipate heat. They also provide excellent hearing. They aid in the ability of locating prey moving underground. Their feet are covered in fur to prevent the hot sand from burning their sole pads. Unlike felines, fennecs have non-retractable claws. Most of the day is spent in burrows beneath the sand.  They live in groups of up to 10 foxes. Females can have 2 litters a year, unlike other canids.  They give birth to 2-5 kits, in an underground den. The father brings food to the den, but doesn’t enter it. The kits will leave the den at 3-4 months of age. These foxes have adapted to life without an excessive amount of water.  They get all of the water they need from the dew on the desert plants each morning.

 





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