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Desert Fox or the African Fennec Fox
The desert fox is a wild animal and the smallest fox species in the world, However, their ears tell a much different story. They have the largest ear to body ratio of any canid; their ears can get up to 6 inches long, which is about one-third of their body length.
Genus: Vulpes: arctic fox, fennec fox, red fox
Formerly, the fennec was classified as a separate genus (Fennecus) due to its rounded skull and weak dentition.
COMMON NAME: Fennec Fox
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Vulpes zerda
FENNEC FOX SIZE: Mature weight from 1kg to 1.5 kg .height from 24cm to 41cm.
LIFE EXPECTANCY: Up to 14 years in captivity
Fennec Fox Behavior and Temperament
desert foxes are very social animals, who live in colonies of up to 10 in the wild. This smallest of the wild canids, Like other small animals, fennec foxes use scent as a defensive mechanism. Although they’re not on the level of a skunk or a ferret, fennec foxes do have scent glands on the tips of their tails. This gives off a musky odor when the animal is startled or stressed.
They are very active, quick and agile, and have a high pitched yelp. These foxes are nocturnal in the wild. They are clean animals. These animals are also generally not afraid of strangers are like wild cats, they are hostile wild animals towards anyone approaching them and bite if feeling cornered or threatened.
Desert Fox Habitat
Fennec foxes are highly specialized in desert life and found almost exclusively in arid, sandy regions. Densest populations are found in the central Sahara desert region of North Africa, but the range extends as far north as Morocco, ALGERIA east along the northern Red Sea to Kuwait, and south into northern Nigeria and Chad.
Fennec foxes are nocturnal hunters that dig burrows as shelter to sleep during the day and rear kits.* Scrub vegetation is used to line dens and may be eaten as a source of water.
Fennec Foxes Life
Fennecs are highly social animals that reside in close family groups usually composed of at least one breeding pair, a litter of immature pups, and some older siblings. A group of foxes may be referred to as a “skulk” or a “leash”.
Fennec foxes are monogamous cooperative breeders that mate for life. Social structure is built around this pairing: each breeding couple have their own territory which is bounded by urine and fecal mounds, which they will vigorously defend.
Social rank among fennecs is communicated mainly through play and visual and tactile communication. Fennec foxes of all ages also make frequent and varied vocalizations such as chatters, whimpers, wails, growls, and shrieks.
What do Fennec Foxes Eat
Living in deserts, it can be hard to find food. Fennec foxes are omnivores. They prefer any type of desert fruits, leaves, and grasses they can find. On cool nights they also can be found hunting for insects, small rodents, and reptiles. the fennec fox uses its ultra-sensitive hearing to hunt their prey. The Fennec fox can get all its water from the things they consume. Their kidneys are designed to keep water loss to a minimum being that they live in a desert environment
Fennec Fox Description
Label and classification
– The origin of the name (Fennec) to the origins of classical Arabic, which is called on some furry animals.
– some scientists classified the smallest fox in the world in an independent genus, a genus (Fennec) called Latin (Fennecus zerda), while others included its classification within the genus of real foxes (Vulpes zerda), which is the predominant classification and recognized.
– Fennec has (32) pairs of chromosomes, while the rest of the foxes (35) to (39) chromosome, and is characterized by habits unfamiliar with other types of foxes.
The qualities of fennec fox
– desert fox is the smallest fox in the world his hight from (24) cm to (41) cm, and weighs from (1) to (1.5) kg, and is characterized by its long tail, which tall according to (fox size) from (18) cm to (31) cm.
– The length of his ears, which is the largest family of canidae up to (15) centimeters, to help him get rid of excess body heat and cooled through the blood and through many blood vessels, as his ears sensitive to the sounds of hearing the movement of prey at night from animals and insects.
– The color tends to the color of the desert sand and this helps in the concealment and camouflage of the desert environment, and covered with thick fur to the soles of the legs protects it from the heat of the sand during the day and maintains its natural temperature at night. Its maximum speed is (40) kilometers per hour or (25) miles per hour.
Reproduction and Reproduction of Fennec Fox
While the surface sand temperature can reach 70 degrees, the depth of burrows lowers it to more probable levels of about thirty degrees. Couples are formed for life. Mating takes place during the months of January to February and the pregnancy lasts about two months.
A female Fennec, two to five years old, gives birth to A blind puppy with folded ears. Puppies begin to open their eyes after ten days, and the ears are straightened at the end of this period. The male is the one who accompanies her at that time. Puppies are weaned after sixty days, then both parents feed them. As a result of Fennec reach sexual maturity about 9 months.
Fennec Fox Endangered!
Officially, desert foxes are currently listed as “least concern,” but this is greatly due to a data deficiency. There is a lot that is unknown about this fox due to the harsh environment, their elusive nature, and their nocturnal behavior. They do have protected status in some areas, but there are still numerous threats to their livelihood. These threats include human encroachment, climate change, disease, fur trade, and lastly, pet trade. Because of their size and appearance, there is a large market for fennec fox pets. However, it is important to keep in mind that no matter how cute they are, fennec foxes are ultimately still a wild animal.ImageUpload an image file, pick one from your media library, or add one with a URL.UploadMedia LibraryInsert from URL
Fennec Fox as a Pet!
The popular question many people want to know is, “Can a Fennec fox be a good pet?” It would be easy for them to fit the role because they are so small. They are also perceived as “cute” and “furry”. Fox hunters are making a killing capturing and selling this species in pet trades all over the world. All of that sounds good, but is this animal tamable? It is said and proven that these animals can be kept as pets. They are deemed exotic pets in many places around the United States. This determination doesn’t take away from the fact that Fennec foxes are still wild animals. Having this fox as a pet is like having a dog and a cat mixed. The Fennec fox has the same energy as a dog and a similar sound that compares to barking. These are clean animals with the capacity of being trained to use a litter box like a cat. They can learn to fetch, come, sit, and heal. Training can be difficult, but it is not impossible. This fox will always want to play and dig. Being that they are like dogs, you will need to keep them on a leash especially when outside. When they are not supervised in the house, a dog crate or cage will suffice in keeping them out of trouble. What do you feed your Fennec fox? Fennec fox owners typically feed their pet dog food, cat food, raw meat, vegetables, fruits, and vitamins. Your little fur baby will also need a veterinarian willing to treat them. It’s essential that as a potential owner, you do your research and figure out what’s best for your pet and how to Own a Fennec Fox
Fennec foxes and humans
The desert fox is the national animal of Algeria. In some places, it is legal to keep as pets fennecs company. Without really domesticated, they can be tamed. Just like other foxes, they can dig under or climb on most pens. Most canine vaccines are safe for fennecs. Although nocturnal in nature, fennecs (like cats) adapt to human schedules.
Fennec Fox Facts
- fennec fox breeds: there is only one breed of the fennec fox.
- fennec fox chihuahua: some belief the chihuahua come from Interbreed between dogs and fennec and that is not true.
- fennec fox colors: Their coats are long, soft, and thick and range in color from reddish cream to light fawn to almost white.
- fennec fox lifespan: Their lifespan is about 10 years in the wild and about 13 years in managed care.
- can I pet fennec fox? : the answer is yes but it needs a lot of care because fennec is not like any other pet.
- Fennec foxes have an extraordinary hearing to locate underground prey.
- Fennec fox speed: While their legs may not be long, fennec foxes can run 20 miles per hour
Fennec Fox Fun Facts
- Fennec fox is the smallest fox in the world.
- fennec fox ears: Their large ears, which are usually 4 to 6 inches long, help to dissipate excess body heat on hot days.
- The fennec fox appears to be the only carnivore in the Sahara Desert able to live without freely available water. Their kidneys are specifically adapted to conserve water. They can obtain moisture from the food they eat and by licking the dew that forms in their dens.
- The fennec fox can have 2 litters per year if the first letter is lost and the food supply is plentiful. This is very unusual among the canids. Normally 2 to 5 young are born per litter.
- Their thick fur helps to insulate them from the cold desert nights. Their sandy coloration helps to reflect heat, and also provides excellent camouflage. desert fox also has thick fur on the soles of their feet, which insulate against the hot sand of the desert. This extra fur on the soles of their feet also affords them excellent traction in the loose sand.