Introduction - Fennec Fox FactsThe Fennec Fox, who is sometimes referred to as the desert fox, is the smallest fox in the entire world, weighing just over 2 pounds (1 kilogram). This species of fox can be found in North Africa (Sahara Desert) and Asia, almost exclusively in regions where it is hot and dry such as the desert. What makes this fox so interesting is the fact that they are able to jump especially high for their size. They are only 9-16 inches (24-41 centimeters) long yet, from a standing position, they have been known to jump 2 feet (.6 meters) into the air. Listed below you will find more interesting information on the Fennec Fox including why they are commonly trapped by humans. This information is written for both kids and adults.
Click here for a great selection of Amazon.com books about the Fennec Fox.
Basic Fennec Fox Facts
- The Fennec Fox is an omnivore and will eat what is available to them. Plants are a large part of their diet but they also eat insects, small rodents, reptiles, birds, and eggs that have been left unguarded. They are nocturnal and search for their food at night when temperatures are cooler.
- Because of the lack of water in their environment, they have adapted and can go relatively long periods of time without water.
- The Fennec Fox has limited predators to deal with because they are difficult animals to capture, but the Eagle Owl is the fox's main predator. Other potential predators include jackals, hyenas, caracals (wild cats), and salukis, a type of Egyptian domesticated dog.
- There are two main reasons why humans trap the Fennec Fox. They are hunted, especially by the people of the Sinai and the Sahara, for their soft fur. Breeders also seek out young kits to raise, as they are one of the only species of fox that can actually be domesticated and kept as a pet.
- The average lifespan of a Fennec Fox is approximately 12-14 years in captivity and about 10 years in the wild.
Fennec Fox Den Facts
- Small groups of family members live together in dens.
- The dens are constructed of sand, ideally in an area where plants can provide additional shelter.
- Dens can have as many as 15 different entrances and connect to the dens of different families.
- Dens can become very large, reaching over 1200 sq. feet (111 square meters).
Facts about Fennec Fox Body Features
- The large ears of the Fennec Fox make it easily recognizable. The large ears, which are approximately 6 inches (15 centimeters) long help spread out the heat so that the animal stays cool and doesn't overheat in the hot desert.
- The ears help the Fennec Fox catch prey. They hear so well that they can hear prey underneath the surface of the ground.
- Fennec Foxes are beige or cream in color. The light color helps them to blend into their surroundings for protection.
- The tails are exceptionally long for its size and they are accented with a black tip.
- The Fennec Fox's feet help it in two ways. They are hairy on the bottom which help to keep it cool and protected from the hot sun-drenched sand. They also help them dig, which is how they make their dens.
- The soft, long hair that covers their body helps to insulate them from both the cold nights and the hot daytime sun.