The fennec is a unique fox, best known for its ears. Its ears make up about 20% of its whole body surface. Its ears are full of blood vessels, which help radiate surplus body heat. Big ears are also important aids for detecting prey.
The coat is long and dense. The soft fur maintains heat, to keep the fox warm on cold nights in the desert. The pale fur reflects the morning sun. It also helps the fennec fox camouflage in the sand.
The paws also have fur on them. The fur protects the bottom of the fennec fox’s paws from the hot surface and gives it a better grip on loose sand. The blood vessels in the paws take the surface heat and spreads it to the rest of its body.
The fennec’s tail is thick and bushy, and used to cover the fox on the cold nights.
One of the fennec fox’s cousins is the Blanford fox, almost as small as the fennec. The Blanford fox also has big ears. Another one of their cousins is the red fox. It is able to eat almost anything. Its larger body means it can live in more environments.
Fennec foxes can be found all across the deserts of North Africa, the Middle East and many other dry places.
As one of the smallest foxes, the fennec lives about 10 years in captivity but not so long in the wild.
[Source: Encyclopedia of Animals]