- Genus/Species: Vulpes zerda
- Conservation Status: Insufficient data to determine status
- Location: Sahara in North Africa, North Saudi Arabia
The Cutest Fox
The fennec fox is a desert fox that lives in the sandy deserts and semi- arid regions of North Africa and Saudi Arabia. This cute little fox has huge ears and very large eyes. The large ears help the fox lose excess heat and enable it to hear its prey from a long distance away. Its long, bushy tail, called a sweep, helps the fox change direction quickly and keeps the fox's feet and nose warm when it curls up to sleep. The thick fur of the fennec fox is the color of sand, and keeps the fox warm during the chilly desert nights. Its belly is white and the outer edges of the ears are reddish brown. The fennec fox has protective hair on the soles of its feet to shield their feet from the heat of the burning desert sand. It lives in groups of around 10 animals, and spends most of the day asleep in its burrow to escape the desert heat.
The fennec fox is the smallest fox. Some are only about the size of a small cat. This fox hunts mainly at night and feeds on small animals, plant material, fruit and berries as well as insects, lizards, snails, small rodents, birds and eggs. It stores extra food in its underground den and gets most of the water it needs from its food. Although the population of the fennec fox is currently stable, it is threatened by development and hunting.
Did You Know?
- The fennec fox’s large bat-like ears can be up to 6 inches in length.
- The fox's feet are also effective shovels for frequent digging.
- Fennec foxes can be found purring like a cat when they are happy.
- Fennec foxes have a scent gland located on the tip of their tail that can give off a musky odor when the fox is startled.