Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Foxes with Giant Ears

When we think of something small with bat-like ears, a fox would probably be the last thing that comes to our mind. Fennec foxes, which are the smallest kind of foxes in the world, might have ears like bats but they look far from the night-dwelling creature. In fact, many people love these foxes because they look adorable.

They’re commonly found in the Sahara desert and areas in the northern part of Africa, but they’ve been exported to different places all over the world. Some of them even make it as pets for exotic pet lovers. These foxes are nocturnal by nature, which they need since they live in such a harsh environment which can get pretty hot during the day. A few physical adaptations have also helped these little mammals to make the most of their desert environment.
Their large ears can measure to about 6 inches long and makes up a good percent of their total body length. These ears actually help radiate their body heat, keeping them cool during the day. But at night when the temperature drops, their long, thick fur helps them keep warm. Even their tiny paws are hairy so they act like little shoes that protect their feet from the really hot sand. Like most foxes, they dig dens and live underground.

Fennec foxes are social animals that live in small groups, usually consisting of ten individuals. The male specimens mark their territories with urine, telling other foxes to stay out. They feed on insects, reptiles, eggs and smaller mammals like rodents, but they’re also known to forage on plants.

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