The Well Adapted Fennec Fox
The Fennec fox is the smallest fox in the world and can be found in the Sahara Desert in Algeria as well as regions of North Africa. These beautiful creatures are also referred to as Desert Foxes because of the dry, hot habitat that the Fennec Foxes most commonly reside.
The Fennec Fox is easily recognizable with its huge ears that seem to dominate their small body that weighs approximately three pounds or 1.5 kg. The ears are almost 15 cm long are an asset as they help the fox release heat during the day and locate small insects and mammals at night.
Another interesting feature of the fox’s body that helps the animal with the intense heat of the day is its coat, which naturally reflects sunlight off its body. The coat also acts as an insulator at night helping to keep the Fennec Fox warm during the much cooler desert nights.
The Fennec has a body length of about 25.5 inches or 65 cm, which includes the length of the bushy tail. The fox has a thick, sandy brown coat and stands at a height of 7.9 inches or 20 cm when fully grown. Interestingly, the feet of the fox are covered in thick fur, which serves as a protection against the hot sands of the Sahara. A sociable animal, the Fennec often shares its den with several other foxes.
Like most foxes, the Fennec fox of the Sahara Desert is nocturnal and it is at night that it devotes to hunting for a variety of insects, rodents and birds. The Fennec is equipped to endure the dry territory it inhabits needing only small amounts of liquid over long stretches of time in order to stay alive. Most of the liquid it requires comes from its food or from plants and berries; otherwise the fox will usually only be able to drink water when it rains.
Algeria’s Fennec Fox is a shy animal and not often observed by humans in the wild. Breeding season takes place over three months from January to March with a short gestation period of about fifty-two days. The female fox can give birth to a litter of between 2 to 5 pups at a time. Once the pups are born and are being nursed by their mother, the male is unwelcome visitor until the pups mature. Males can have several mating partners while producing subsequent litters of Fennec foxes- precious inhabitants and indigenous animals of Algeria and North Africa.