The fennec fox is the smallest fox in the world!
The average height of a fennec fox is about 8 inches for a full grown adult. This is in addition to a length span of about 12-16 inches for an adult without the tail included in the measurement. The fennec fox can weigh between 1.5-3.5 pounds. The fennec fox has distinctive features as this small creature is known for their small statue, smaller heads, and large ears. Most fennec foxes have a long black tipped tail that takes about 3/4 of their body length.
Native to desert regions, the fennec fox descends from sandy deserts in Northern Africa ranging from Western Sahara and Mauritania to northern Sinai. Fennec fox can thrive in desert environments as it is capable of inhabiting the remotest sand seas. While foxes are normally solitary creatures, the Fennec Fox forms groups. These small communities consist of around 10 individuals. Stable sand dunes are believed to be ideal habitat for this fox. This fox may share a burrow system with up to 10-12 other fox individuals. This fox has experienced a decline, population wise. However, they are most common throughout the Sahara.
These foxes are nocturnal.
The fennec fox hide from heat in sand burrows during the day. At night, expect this fox to roam.
The fennec fox coat of fur provides camouflage and protection from cold desert nights. The hair on the soles of their feet protect them from hot sand. To communicate with one another, the fennec fox project a high pitched yelp and quiet growl.
Facts About Fennec Foxes
- The Fennec Fox has uncharacteristic behaviours compared to other foxes.
- Fennec fox have amazing hearing and use this ability to hear animals underground even small insects.
- Their ears are about 4 to 6 inches long are used to dissipate heat on hot days.
- This fox consumes a diet of rodents, birds, eggs, lizards and insects.
- Fennec fox reach maturation age at 9 months and can reach a full life span of 14 years old under human care.
- The fennec fox appears to be the only carnivore in the Sahara Desert able to live without freely available water. Their kidneys are specifically adapted to conserve water. They can obtain moisture from the food they eat and by licking the dew that forms in their dens.
- Fennec Foxes have sharp, curved claws which help them dig their burrows.
- Their fur reflects the sun during the day and conserves heat at night.
Pet Ownership of the Fennec Fox
Fennec foxes behave a bit like active, playful little dogs. However, it’s important to for owners to remember these are still animals with wild instincts, even if they were bred in captivity. Fennec fox love to roam. Pet owners are advised to give this animal enough space to explore and behave as though it were still in the wild. Since this animal is nocturnal, pet owners are advised that it may be difficult to manage their high energy during sleeping hours. The combination of a proper diet along with enough space for activities can keep your fennec fox happy and well maintained.