Fennec Foxes are the smallest but have large ears that distinguish them from other foxes. They mostly live in sandy areas.
Fact 1 Their Habitat
Fennec foxes dwell in the desert areas of the Sahara desert and in North Africa. They are also found in the eastern parts of the Sinai Peninsula and Arabia as the desert and semi-desert areas suit them the most. They can easily adapt themselves to the intense heat of the desert when the temperature is unbearable and the freezing cold due to their unique physical attributes and nocturnal lifestyle. They live together in small communities consisting of 8 to 10 foxes. They dig dens under the ground to stay cool during the day.
Fact 2 Description
Fennec foxes belong to the smallest species of canines. They are about 24 cm to 41 cm long. The body is covered with long, thick hair that protects them from the heat of the sun and the chilly nights of the desert regions. Their conspicuous bat-like long ears make them stand out from other species and help to radiate the heat of the body to make them feel cool. The foxes’ feet are also hairy that keep the feet protected from the heat of the sun like snowshoes and offers a sturdy grip in the loose sands. They use their feet to dig underground dens also. They are usually cream-colored and have long tails with black tips of various lengths ranging from 18cm to 31 cm according to the size of the Fennec Fox.
Fact 3 Food Habits
They are omnivores and live mainly on insects, grasshoppers, locusts, plants, fruits, rodents, birds, lizards, and small reptiles. Occasionally they have eggs too. They often hunt alone and after locating the prey by their intense hearing ability, kill their preys by biting the neck area. Since they dwell in the dry desert regions, they have special features that enable them to go without water for many days like the camels. The kidneys do not allow loss of water and since they live under the ground, dew is formed which they consume when required. Their nocturnal behavior also helps them to restrict loss of water. However, when water is available, they drink enough to stay hydrated.
Fact 4 Reproduction
Fennec foxes live in groups of 10 animals together. When the mating season approaches, they mark their territory to keep away aggressive males from other groups. Fennec foxes are monogamous and the parents live together like a family that may consist of about 10 members. Their mating period is around January and February. The female has the capacity to breed twice a year only if there is plenty of food available. Gestation period is about 50 days, after which usually 4 to 5 babies are born mostly in the months of March and April. They are known as “kits”. Like all mammals, the young ones feed on mothers’ milk for about 1 month and after they grow a little, they go hunting with their mothers.
Fact 5 How They Protect Themselves From Enemies
Fennec foxes have an attractive appearance and easily attract onlookers. Although they hunt at night, pet traders are always on the lookout for these unique creatures. Local people also hunt them for their fur. They use the fur and the long hairs for making various items for sale. However, it is not very easy to catch them. The sandy color of their coats acts as camouflage so that they can hide in the sands when they sense danger. Their ears are very sharp which they use to hunt animals.