- Common Name:
- Fennec Fox
- Scientific Name:
- Vulpes zerda
- Head and body: 9.5 to 16 inches; tail: 7 to 12.2 inches
- 2.2 to 3.3 pounds
Fennec foxes are sometimes called "desert foxes" because they live in desert zones of North Africa and the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas. They are nocturnal and avoid the daytime heat of the desert environment. Their batlike ears radiate body heat and help keep the foxes cool. They also have long, thick, soft fur coats with a wooly undercoat that insulates them during cold nights and protects them from the hot sun during the day.
They have been known to jump in the air 2 feet (.6 meters) high from a standing position, and they are able to leap a distance of 4 feet (1.2 meters).
These foxes dwell in small groups of up to ten individuals. Like dogs and other canids, male fennecs mark their territory with urine.
They forage for plants but also eat rodents, eggs, reptiles, and insects. Like most desert dwellers, the fennec fox has the ability to go for long periods without water. These foxes are cream-colored with black-tipped tails.