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.
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.
Fennec foxes live in groups of ten to fifteen individuals and mated pairs are believed to bond for life.
The Fennec fox is 30-40 cm (14.5-16 in) long with a tail of 20 cm (8 in). It weighs about 1.5 kg (3.3 lb). It has got a reddish fur, big eyes, huge triangular ears and strong legs. When standing it is able to jump 1.2 m. It is said it can hear another moving animal 1.5 km away.
It inhabits deserts in northern Africa and Arabia and can survive many days without water. Fennecus zerda feeds on small mammals, rodents, reptiles, lizards, eggs, insects and fruit. There are about 3 young born in March-April after 50 days lasting gestation. It lives in the group of 10 animals with longevity up to 12 years.
Name: Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda)
Family: Canidae (Dogs and Relatives)
Range: Northern Africa, Sahara, Arabia
Habitat: Deserts and areas of sand dunes
Diet: Fruits, berries, seeds, eggs, termites, snails, rodents, birds and lizards
Head and Body Length: 15 to 16 inches (37 to 41 cm)
Tail Length: 7.5 to 8 inches (19 to 21 cm)
Weight: 2 to 3 pounds (1 to 1.5 kg)
Life Cycle: Little is known; mating in captivity January to February; gestation about 50 days, two to five cubs born
Description: Cream to sandy fur; white underparts; large, black eyes; very large ears; narrow, pointed snout; furred soles; sharp, curved claws; black-tinged tail tip
Conservation Status: Data Deficient