Fennec Fox

Vulpes zerda

The Fennec Fox is found in the Sahara Desert of North Africa and is the smallest wild canid today.

Baby fennec foxes are born with shut ears and eyes. Their eyes open about ten days after birth and their ears open after two weeks, and start growing a lot. The characteristic big ears of this fox help it to scatter heat and to hear the movement of prey at night. Its ears are sensitive enough to hear large insects, such as beetles and locusts, walk on the sand. Its coat can repel sunlight during the day and conserve heat at night. The soles of its feet are protected from the hot sand by thick fur. The Fennec Fox can survive extremely long without drinking water, sometimes years, but drinks when water is available.

Its diet is varied: this fox hunts small animals like rodents and birds, and it also eats grasses and vegetation, from which it gets the water it needs. Like other foxes, the Fennec Fox stores extra food in its underground den.

The Fennec Fox is considered the only species of fox which can properly be kept as a pet. Although it cannot be considered domesticated, it can be kept in a domestic setting similar to dogs or cats. As a pet it is vary playful and energetic, but its playfulness might drive other pets to exhaustion.

The above picture was taken at the zoo of Washington DC, in August 2002.

Genus Vulpes
Family Canidae
Superfamily Canoidea
Order Carnivora
Subclass Eutheria
Class Mammalia
Subphylum Vertebrata
Phylum Chordata
Kingdom Animalia
Life on Earth