There are only a few species of fox in the world, and the smallest of these is the fennec fox, mammals of the canine-like species (Canidae). Fennec fox is the only species of fox that can be kept as a pet.
The fennec fox, which is often found in the sandy deserts of North Africa and the Sinai Peninsula, can also be found in the northern Sahara Desert. The Fennec fox’s silky coat makes it popular with hunters.
Because there is a growing demand for exotic pets, this cute fox is regularly captured from the wild. Despite these obstacles, the fennec fox population remains stable.
Fennec foxes are classified as one of the smallest foxes in the animal world of foxes. These tiny foxes are 10 to 16 inches in length and 2 to 3 pounds in weight. In North Africa, desert foxes are also known as “desert foxes” because of their location. While they remain hidden from the heat of the day, these creatures are nocturnal (or active at night).
Fennec foxes have large ears to help them retain body heat, while also radiating body heat. Also, they are covered with a thick layer of fur to help keep them warm at night. Their broad feet allow them to dig burrows under the ground more quickly.
This herd of foxes does not contain more than 10 animals. They are not picky eaters and eat a variety of different foods, such as vegetation, rodents, eggs, reptiles, and insects. Unlike most desert animals, fennec foxes can go for long periods of time without water.
While predating on foxes, carnivores including vultures, hyenas, and jackals will be known as fox predators. The lifespan of the fennec fox is 8-10 years.
15 Interesting Facts about the Fennec fox
- The fennec fox can reach lengths ranging from 9 to 16 inches and weigh 2 to 3 pounds.
- In contrast to the thick fur on the back, the fennec fox has light beige fur on the back and white on the belly. The skin is quite effective in insulating the body, keeping it warm during the long winter nights, and protecting the skin from the harmful rays of the sun during the long summer days.
- The fennec fox has huge ears, which are 6 inches long. The oversized ears radiate heat and prevent the body from overheating. The Fennec fox has an extremely long tail with a black tip, making it easy for the animal to navigate in hot, loose sand.
- Fennec foxes are particularly active at night (nocturnal animals). When the temperature drops below a certain threshold, it moves to the underground cave to sleep and hunt at night.
- A keen sense of hearing and a keen sense of smell enable the fennec fox to locate food.
- Fennec foxes are omnivores and herbivores. The diet of this animal is composed entirely of various plants, such as leaves, fruits, roots, eggs, insects, rodents, and small reptiles.
- Fennec foxes have the ability to absorb all of their moisture needs from the diet and can withstand long periods of time without water.
- An eagle owl, caracals, jackals, hyenas, and domestic dogs are natural enemies of the fennec fox.
- Social animals, such as the fennec fox, often gather in packs. Found within the family groups of around 10 species, this animal has an omnivorous diet.
- The fennec fox has an extensive burrow, which is one meter deep and 32 feet long. Den sits at the foot of sand dunes, which provide additional shade, and is set amongst sparse vegetation. There are at least 15 separate entrances to Den, most of which are associated with the surrounding residential complexes.
- The fennec fox’s mating season begins in January and lasts through February. They create monogamous relationships for life.
- During the mating season, males are particularly aggressive and territorial. To demarcate their territories, they use urine and excrement.
- Female fennec foxes can only produce one litter per year. The pregnancy lasts about 50 days and ends when the mother has given birth to one to four kits. After 60 days, the calf is dependent on breast milk for up to 70 days.
- The fennec fox will reach puberty when she is one year old.
- In the wild, the fennec fox can live for 10 years, but in captivity, it can live for 13 to 14 years.
Fennec fox habitat
Fennec foxes live in semi-arid regions of North Africa, including the Sahara Desert. In the desert, the Fennec fox can dig at incredible speed, creating elaborate burrows that connect underground to form a comfortable underground village. Fur and feathers are also used to make burrows more comfortable, helping animals sleep during the day.
Favorite diet of a fennec fox
Fennec foxes are nocturnal and venture at night to hunt. They feed on both plants and animals; small birds, lizards, and mice are part of their diet. The Fennec Fox can search for water sources if it feels the need, but it doesn’t necessarily have to.
They can go long periods without access to water due to their diet, which consists mainly of desert vegetation such as grasses, roots, fruits, and berries. This also allows Fennec Foxes not to lose water through the kidneys. The fennec fox is very similar to other foxes in that it stores excess food in its den.
Fennec fox behavior
Fennec foxes have clawed feet that help them dig their dens. The Fennec fox, in addition to its unusually large ears, is very similar to its cousin, the fox, with the exception of the fact that its ears are always erect and are 15 cm (6 inches) long.
These animals have extremely sensitive hearing, allowing them to detect ground-dwelling prey, such as beetles and locusts, as well as locate insects that are buried underground.
Additionally, their ears help keep foxes cool in the desert heat, while radiating body heat for their own cooling.
In fact, Fennec Fox’s behavioral habits are strikingly different from other foxes. Although foxes are normally known to be solitary animals, the Fennec Fox is known to form groups.
Male urination is territorial and indicates its claim in a particular area. Also, when the mating season approaches, the males face each other. Fennec foxes are highly social animals that form lifelong mating bonds and have territories to themselves.