The Huge Ears of the Fennec Fox Help it Catch Prey


Fennec foxes have different body parts that help them manage with the extreme temperatures of the deserts in Northern Africa and the Middle East. It has a diet of small prey.

The huge ears of a fennec fox take up about 20 percent of the animal’s total body surface area. They help the fox listen to the minute sounds of prey, such as insects, small rodents, birds, and plants. The ears have many blood vessels to keep warm during the cold desert nights. Its pale coloration reflects excess daytime heat and provides camouflage against the sand. The fur gives their paws better grip on sand and the blood vessels release the excess heat and to protect the pads from the hot ground.

Fennec foxes weigh between 2.2 to 3.3 pounds. The length of their head and body is between 13 to 16 inches. Their mating season is from January to February. They carry their babies for about 51 days and give birth to up to five young. They typically have babies once a year, but they may have a second litter the same year if the first young are killed.

The lifespan of fennec foxes are about ten years in captivity, but much less in the wild.

They live west of the desert areas of North Africa, the Middle East in Morocco, the Sahara Desert, and the Arabian Desert; there are among 21 species of foxes. They also inhabit dry areas of Southern Africa. The fennec fox is the only member of its genus.

[Source: The Encyclopedia of Animals]

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