*They are the smallest canid species weighing as little as 0.8kg
*They are the only carnivore in the Sahara living totally away from water sources.
*Their ears can measure 6inches in length!
* They are the most commonly kept species of fox.
The fennec fox (Vulpes Zerda) is the smallest canid in the world they also have the largest ear to body ratio.
Their large ears are an adaptation to aid heat dissipation, and locating insects as well as small vertebrates. They also have a long, thick coat that insulates them during cold nights and protects them from the hot sun during the day. The foxes feet are even hairy like those of the corsac and arctic fox but instead of working like snowshoes the fur protects them from the hot sand.
Like the corsac the fennec lives in groups in the wild however these only consist of 10 or so members.
The fennec fox is naturally nocturnal. This combined with their use of burrows during daylight hours and the moisture content of their prey contributes to them being the only carnivore of the Sahara living completely away from water sources.
Europeans have long admired the fennec as an exotic pet because of their small stature and cute features. I often call ours my ‘carnivorous bunny rabbits’ and it is not just my who finds them to be cute but many naturalists such as D.R. Rosevear found themselves doting over these little desert foxes.
Though seldom weighing more then 2kg , fennecs have been known to kill prey much larger then themselves.
In the last few decades scientists have begun to argue that though classed as 'true' foxes the fennec fox genetically resemble wolves more than foxes. Fennecs even sometimes act like dogs turning around multiple times prior to laying down and the males raise one leg to urinate.
They may genetically be more like wolves they also have one very feline habit of purring!
Head/body length: 345-395mm
Weight: 0.8kg- 1.9kg