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Fennec Fox

Fennec Fox

The fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) is a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara of North Africa. Its most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which serve to dissipate heat. The species name zerda has a Greek origin that refers to its habitat.

 

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Mariana Martinez

Mariana Martinez

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Fennec Foxes are thought to be moderately social, but this evidence is based mainly on captive animals. The basic social unit is believed to be a mated pair and their offspring, and, like some other canids, the young of the previous year may remain in the family even when a new litter is born.

Article:   Canids, Foxes, Wolves, Ja…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

In the wild, jackals, striped hyaenas (Hyaena hyaena), and domestic dogs are reported to prey on fennec foxes, though this is anecdotal and possibly questionable. The capture of fennec foxes is likely very difficult, as they are fast and able to change direction very quickly. Nomads consider them very difficult to capture, even for the saluki, a local greyhound-like dog.

Article:   Canids, Foxes, Wolves, Ja…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

As many as 10 individuals may live in a group, with males becoming highly aggressive during the mating season. The males' territory is marked with urine. He will stay with his mate after she has given birth, and defend the nest site, but does not enter the maternal den.

Article: Fennec Fox
Source: National Science Foundati...

The Fennec Fox eats a wide variety of vegetable matter, small rodents, birds and their eggs, lizards, and insects including a pest known as the migratory locust. Studies on captive animals suggest that V. zerda may be able to survive without free water for an indefinite period of time.

Article: Comparative Mammalian Bra...
Source: National Science Foundati...

In the wild they feed on small rodents, birds eggs, reptiles, insects, fruit, berries, and small mammals. Plants are also an important part of their diet since they may be an important source of water.

Article: General Information: The ...
Source: FennecFoxes.net

Fennec Foxes are always considered nocturnal. This may be so but they love to play in the warm sands and sleep on top of objects warmed by the sun. Fennecs are the most social of foxes.

Article: General Information: Tjhe...
Source: FennecFoxes.net

The low birth rate and slow reproductive recovery of declining fennec populations means that fennec parents have a high reproductive investment in their altricial pups. Vixens give continuous care for the two weeks following birth. Father and mother work together during the prolonged rearing of the young.

Article: Vulpes zerda
Source: University of Michigan

The largest populations of Vulpes zerda occur in the central Sahara, though the species can be found in mountainous and desert regions from northern Morocco (roughly 35 degrees N latitude), east along the northern tip of the Red Sea to Kuwait, and south into northern Nigeria and Chad (15 degrees N latitude).

Article: Vulpes zerda
Source: University of Michigan

These foxes dig multichambered dens in the sand and rest there during the day, shielded from the sun.
At night they venture forth to hunt insects and small vertebrates. Once they locate their prey, they dig in the sand at high speed to catch it.

Article: Fennec Fox
Source: Discovery Communications,...

The fennec fox, smallest of all canids, is well adapted to desert life: Its body is small; its hair is light-colored to reduce heat absorption; and its large ears are highly vascularized to facilitate cooling. Also, its feet have hairy soles for traction and heat protection in sand, and it can sustain long periods without drinking.

Article: Fennec Fox
Source: Discovery Communications,...
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