Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Educational Activities You Can Do at Home, About the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Its most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which also serve to dissipate heat. Precise population figures are not known but are estimated from the frequency of sightings; these indicate that the fennec is currently not threatened by extinction. [2], Canis (zerda) was the scientific name proposed by Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann in 1780. These foxes are adapted to life in the desert. During the four to six weeks of rutting season, males can become extremely aggressive and will mark their territory with urine. Omissions? The fennec fox is classified a "small wild/exotic canid" by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Washington, DC 20013. There have been some instances of multiple family groups sharing a complex den. The fennec has a life span of up to 14 years in captivity and about 10 years in the wild. The smallest of all canids, fennec foxes are 14 to 16 inches (35.6 to 40.6 centimeters) long, with an additional 7 to 12 inches (18 to 30 centimeters) of tail. The Fennec fox, or fennec (Vulpes zerda), is a small crepuscular fox found in the Sahara of North Africa, the Sinai Peninsula, South West Israel (Arava desert) and the Arabian desert. Anecdotal reports exist about caracals, jackals, striped hyenas also preying on the fennec fox. Fennec foxes are also capable of going for long periods without consuming water; they are able to hydrate through the food they consume. Two young Fennec Fox - notice their long long ears. The primary threat to fennec foxes is human interference. Fennec Fox Fun Facts Some individuals were observed to bury prey for later consumption and searching for food in the vicinity of human settlements. By becoming a member, you'll help the Zoo save species and get great benefits for you and your family each time you visit! [19], The fennec fox is listed in CITES Appendix II. [23], A fennec fox named Finnick was depicted in Disney's Zootopia. .mw-parser-output table.clade{border-spacing:0;margin:0;font-size:100%;line-height:100%;border-collapse:separate;width:auto}.mw-parser-output table.clade table.clade{width:100%}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label{width:0.7em;padding:0 0.15em;vertical-align:bottom;text-align:center;border-left:1px solid;border-bottom:1px solid;white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-fixed-width{overflow:hidden;text-overflow:ellipsis}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-fixed-width:hover{overflow:visible}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label.first{border-left:none;border-right:none}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label.reverse{border-left:none;border-right:1px solid}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel{padding:0 0.15em;vertical-align:top;text-align:center;border-left:1px solid;white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel:hover{overflow:visible}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel.last{border-left:none;border-right:none}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel.reverse{border-left:none;border-right:1px solid}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-bar{vertical-align:middle;text-align:left;padding:0 0.5em;position:relative}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-bar.reverse{text-align:right;position:relative}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leaf{border:0;padding:0;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leafR{border:0;padding:0;text-align:right}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leaf.reverse{text-align:right}.mw-parser-output table.clade:hover span.linkA{background-color:yellow}.mw-parser-output table.clade:hover span.linkB{background-color:green}, The fur of the fennec fox is straw-coloured. [13] Gestation lasts between 50 and 52 days, sometimes also up to 63 days. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to the desert environment with high temperatures and little water. Practice ecotourism by being an advocate for the environment when you’re on vacation. They have the largest ears relative to their body size of any member of the canid family, which they use to dispel heat and track down prey underneath the sand. Fennec foxes behave a bit like active, playful little dogs. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, fennec foxes eat meat, assorted fruits and vegetables, mice and insects. They create the burrows themselves, often digging out a series of tunnels that can reach up to 32 feet (10 meters) in length. You can help us by donating to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s Emergency Fund today. [7], African horned owl species likely prey on fennec fox pups. [26], Pip, a rogue alchemist champion from 2016 video game, Paladins is a vulpin, a fennec fox like races. Mainly nocturnal, the fennec spends the heat of the day underground in its burrow. [1], The fennec fox is the national animal of Algeria. Fennec, (Fennecus zerda), desert-dwelling fox, family Canidae, found in north Africa and the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas. They communicate by barking, purring, yapping and squeaking. Fennec families dig out burrows in the sand for habitation and protection, which can be as large as 120 m2 (1,292 sq ft) and adjoin the burrows of other families. Pups usually nurse for their first 10 weeks of life and become mature at 9 to 11 months. [3] Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture, CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of October 2020 (, "Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog". Shop smart too! Its long ears have longitudinal reddish stripes on the back and are so densely haired inside that the external auditory meatus is not visible. It has dark streaks running from the inner eye to either side of the slender muzzle. The fennec fox weighs about 0.68 kg to 1.6 kg (roughly 1.5 to 3.5 pounds) with a body length of about 20-40 cm (8 to 16 inches). We're excited to welcome you back to the Zoo, and we've made a few changes. "Notes sur les dates de reproduction en captivite du fennec, "Estrous cycles, copulation and pregnancy in the fennec fox (, 10.1644/1545-1542(2002)083<0099:ECCAPI>2.0.CO;2, "Zur Fortpflanzung und Jungendentwicklung des Wüstenfuchses (, "Fennekin (Pokémon) – Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia", "Inspired by 'Zootopia,' kids in China are begging for rare, protected foxes as pets",, Taxa named by Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann, CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of October 2020, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with trivia sections from January 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 18 October 2020, at 12:38. [24], Fenneko, one of main character from the 2018 Netflix's series Aggretsuko', is a fennec fox.[25]. Fennec foxes typically give birth to one litter of pups per year, with between two and five young in a litter.

Our babies do not come de-clawed or de-fanged. They can catch and kill prey larger than themselves; there have been documented cases of fennec foxes taking down fully grown rabbits. Its nose is black. Pups remain in the family even after a new litter is born. The name fennec is sometimes erroneously applied to the South African silver fox and to Ruppell’s fox (see fox). The fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) is a small crepuscular fox native to the Sahara Desert and the Sinai Peninsula. As a result of the popularity of the film, Chinese children were begging their parents to procure the animals as pets. [11][12] The scientific name Fennecus arabicus was proposed by Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest in 1804. Its litters of two to five young are born after a gestation period of about 51 days. Its most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which serve to dissipate heat. Corrections? Its tapering tail has a black tip. The fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) is a small crepuscular fox native to the Sahara Desert and the Sinai Peninsula. [1] Its most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which serve to dissipate heat. These foxes have large ears and bushy tails, and are the smallest members of the Canine family. Its phylogenetic relationship is presented in the cladogram below.[6](Fig. It feeds on insects, small animals, and fruit. Fennec foxes are territorial, and mark their terrain with urine and feces. [9], In the Algerian Sahara, 114 scat samples were collected that contained more than 400 insects, plant fragments and date palm Phoenix dactylifera fruits, remains of birds, mammals, squamata and insects.
[20] It also serves as the nickname for the Algeria national football team: "Les Fennecs". It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds. A female fennec fox named Popy also appeared from French-South Korean computer animated animation Oscar's Oasis. She was leader of trio gangs (a vulture and hyena) who had a rivalry with titular character.

They usually weigh between 2 and 3 pounds (0.9 to 1.4 kilograms). But according to nomads, the fennec fox is fast and changes directions so that even their Salukis are hardly able to capture it.

These Chihuahua-sized canids are distinctive in their appearance as well as being a true fox species that is smaller than the iconic red and grey foxes that are native to North America. [3] The edges of the ears are whitish, but darker on the back. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. It relies on the moisture content of prey, but drinks water when available. They forage for plants but also eat rodents, eggs, reptiles, and insects. They are also the palest of all foxes, giving them excellent camouflage. This article was most recently revised and updated by, fennec - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). During your travels, support, visit or volunteer with organizations that protect wildlife. The fennec is characterized by its small size (head and body length 36–41 cm [14–16 inches], weight about 1.5 kg [3.3 pounds]) and large ears (15 cm or more in length). Live-Animal Transportation Information Airline shipping is available to … Its large eyes are dark. They usually weigh between 2 and 3 pounds (0.9 to 1.4 kilograms). In some cases, different families interconnect their dens, or locate them close together.
Find resources to engage learners in grades preK-12 with science, the natural world, wildlife and conservation. We have Fennec Foxes for sale in Texas and can arrange transportation for out of state homes! Fennec foxes are legally protected in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt. Foxes are likely one of the more popular ‘alternative’ pet that people are curious about owning. They are commonly trapped for exhibition or sale to tourists, and there have been limited instances of human settlements encroaching on fennec populations. Also, its hearing is sensitive to hear prey moving underground. Read on to learn about the fennec fox.

[1] It inhabits small sand dunes and vast treeless sand areas with sparse vegetation such as grasses, sedges and small shrubs. Fennec foxes may live up to 11 years in human care. [17], The oldest captive male fennec fox was 14 years old, and the oldest female 13 years. [7], The fennec fox is an omnivore, feeding on small rodents, lizards, geckos, skinks, small birds and their eggs, fruits and also some tubers. [9] Commercial breeders remove the pups from their mother to hand-raise them, as tame foxes are more valuable. The fennec is usually assigned to the genus Vulpes; however, this is debated due to differences between the fennec and other fox species. [14][15] After mating, the male becomes very aggressive and protects the female, provides her with food during pregnancy and lactation. It has long, thick, whitish to sand-coloured fur and a black-tipped tail 18–31 cm long. The species also displays behaviors uncharacteristic of foxes, such as living in packs while most other fox species are solitary. The smallest of all canids, fennec foxes sport extraordinarily large ears that help them hunt at night.

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