Fennec Fox

Vulpes zerda

Classification

Domain Eukarya: They can be single-celled or multicellular. The cells have a nucleus.

Kingdom Animalia: It does not contain prokaryotes or protists. All members of

Animalia are multicellular.

Phylum Chordata: They have a complete digestive system. They also have bilateral symmetry.

Subphylum Vertebrata: Includes fishes, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals and they all share a chain of bony elements.

Class Mammalia: They are characterized by their teeth and all mammals have hair.

Order Carnivora: They are medium-sized animals that have thick coats to keep them warm. They have teeth that help them cut through meat.

Family Canidaes: They eat meat and plants, they have a full set of teeth, and they mostly have five toes on their forefeet and four on their hindfeet.

Genus Vulpes: foxes.

Species: Vulpes zerda

Physical Adaptations

Fennec Foxes are very small. This helps them move faster and it allows them to fit into small places. They have very large ears so that they can hear small rodents under the sand. Many Fennecs are brown which helps them blend in with the desert sand. They also have a lot of fur on the bottom of their paws to help prevent them from burning when they walk on the hot sand. Fennec Foxes burrow a lot underground. They have sharp claws so that they can burrow very deep. Fennec Foxes hunt at night. They have sharp teeth for grabbing their prey. They have glowing eyes so that when they are hunting at night they can see better which is a characteristic only nocturnal animals have.

Behavioral Adaptations

Fennec Foxes breed between January and May. They protect each other which helps the whole species. They sleep in burrows in the day and hunt at night so that they do not get too hot in the desert. The males hunt the most which helps them get food for themselves and their family. Fennecs dig underground so that they have a place to sleep and also so they can hide themselves from predators. Whenever Fennec Foxes want to have fun they play with their food to entertain themselves.

Description

Average Length- 30 to 40 centimeters.

Average Weight- 2.2 to 3.3 pounds.

Average Size- The head and body 9.5 to 16 inches long. The tail is 7 to 12.2 inches.

Color- Fur in adults are very thick and it is white along its legs, face, ear-linings and underside. The tail is either black or brown and the feet have a lot of fur on them to protect them from the hot desert sand.

Food Habits- Their most common prey is small rodents, lizards, birds, eggs, and insects. They also eat fruit, leaves and roots which are very important because it provides almost 100 percent of their hydration. Fennec Foxes can go a long time without water in the desert.

Habitat- Fennecs are mostly in deserts or sandy regions where it is very hot. They use plants to make their dens.

Predators- Local people hunt the Fennec Fox for its fur. They also get eaten by vultures, and hyenas. Scientists do not know a lot about the Fennec Foxes predators.

Natural Range- You can find many Fennec Foxes in many deserts like the Sahara Desert and elsewhere in North Africa.

Extra Facts

-They can live up to 10 years old in the wild.

-They breed once yearly.

-Fennecs are very social and can live with a group up to 10 foxes.

-Fennecs can be at zoo's and they can also be personal pets!

-Adults and pups both chatter, whimper, wail, growl, and shriek.

-Fennec Foxes are smaller than an average house cat.

References

Adams, R. (2014). Animal Diversity Web (N. Shefferly, Ed.) [Fact sheet].
Retrieved March 11, 2015, from Animal Diversity Web website:
http://animaldiversity.org/


Burton, M., & Burton, R. (2002). Fennec fox. In International wildlife
encyclopedia v.1 (AAR-BAR) (3rd ed., Vol. 6, pp. 809-811). New York, NY:
Marshall Cavendish.


Fennec fox [Fact sheet]. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2015, from National
Geographic website: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/
fennec-fox/