Fennec Fox

Vulpes

Classification

  • Domain Eukaryota-All organisms that are a part of this Domain can be multicellular or single celled, but all organisms have a nucleus.
  • Kingdom Animalia-Every animal is part of Kingdom Animalia, and are called Metazoa. Animalia members are all muticellular and are called herotrophs.
  • Phylum Chordata-Includes bilateral symmetry, and a segmented body including segmented muscles. Phylum animals include three germ layers, and a complete digestive system.
  • Subphylum Vertebrata-The organisms in this group have a backbone, and endoskeleton.
  • Class Mammalia-In this class the animals have hair and can produce milk to their young with their mammary glands.
  • Order Carnivora-This group contains animals that eat other animals for their food, and no they do not cook them over a campfire, they eat them how they get them with their specialized teeth. Their teeth helps them grab the animal and helps them clasp it well.
  • Family Canidae-This group of animals are found all over the world in every continent except Antarctica, also these animals are medium sized animals that eat flesh from other animals remains.
  • Genus Vulpes-The only genus only includes the Fennec Fox
  • Species-Vulpes zerda (scientific name)

General Description

  • Height-An average adult Fennec Fox stands to be about 20.3 cm tall.
  • Length-An average adult Fennec Fox's length is 18 cm to 30 cm according the size of the fox.
  • Weight-The average weight for a Fennec Fox would be 0.68 to 1.6 kg or 2.2 or 3.3 pounds.
  • Color-The Fennec Fox's main color is a creamy white color or tan based color speckled with dark brown, and black hairs on the back; and also fox's tails are dipped with black fur on the tips.
  • Natural range-The foxes are mostly found in burrows in the Sahara Desert, and some are found elsewhere in Northern Africa.
  • Diet-Fennec Foxes mostly eat plants, insects, small rodents such a mice, small reptiles, and eggs.
  • Habitat Description-Fennec Foxes dig burrows to live in. They dig their burrows for protection from predators that are larger, the foxes build the burrows for two or more foxes, they do this because when they are alone they feel abandon and scared.
  • Predators-Since the foxes are small like a casual Chihuahua purse dog these foxes get/can be picked up easily by larger animals such as Eagle Owl, Caracles, Jackals,striped Hyenas, Domestic Dogs, and Black Vultures

Physical and Behavioral Adaptaions

Physical Adaptations

The Fennec Fox's fur is sandy brown like the sand it walks on since they live in the desert. This helps them survive when it is trying to get away from predators, they can become camouflage and blend in. Fennec Foxes have huge bat-like ears to radiate body heat and help keep them cool in the Sahara heat, their ears also can hear prey/predators from a mile away. The foxes also have long, thick fur that insulates them during the cold desert nights. Fennec Fox's kidneys are adapted to retain water and prevent dehydration. There is basically little to no water in the desert where the foxes live. While they drink water the can survive long periods of time in only the food that they eat, and possible they dew from a cold night collects inside their burrows. Fennec Foxes feet are covered in fur to help protect their feet from burning sand.

Behavioral Adaptations

Fennec Foxes are nocturnal animals meaning that they sleep in their burrows during the day and hunt for prey above their burrows when it's dark. This helps the foxes because now their prey is sleeping or is not aware, and this gives and advantage to the fox to strike. If threatened the Fennec Fox will bark, purr, and snarl. This behavior would show that the fox wants to be left alone. It is common for a group of adult Fennec Foxes to show playing behavior when they are happy and in a good mood. Fennec Foxes are monogamous which means that they have one mate and don't go off and mate with another Fennec Fox. When the Fennec Fox isn't in the wild they cower when approached by laying on their side, waging their tail, and yelping.

References

References

Adams, R. 2004. "Vulpes zerda" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Vulpes_zerda/

Adams, R. (2004, November 5). Vulpes zerda fennec. Retrieved from http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Vulpes_zerda/

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

Scott, P. (Ed.). (2014, December). "Ears" Looking at You, Kit: The Fascinating Fennec Fox. Retrieved from http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/zoonooz/ears-looking-you-kit-fascinating-fennec-fox

Top 10 “Green” Animals. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.animalplanet.com/wild-animals/no-8-fennec-fox/