Geographical Range North African desert and east to the Sinai Peninsula
Habitat Sandy desert
Scientific Name Vulpes zerda
Conservation Status Common

How to beat the heat

Here's a way to beat the heat that you probably never thought of. You could grow large ears!

The fennec fox has very large ears. It is the smallest fox in the world, with the largest ears for its size. In the hot North African desert, its ears help the fox shed body heat. How? Blood circulates close to the bare surface of the ears and is cooled in that way -- much like an elephant!

Of course, these big ears also help the fennec fox track his prey or listen for danger.

Like other desert animals, the fennec fox sleeps underground all day. It can dig a burrow very quickly. It hunts at night when it is cool. What does a fennec fox find to eat in the desert? It eats small rodents, ground-nesting birds, bird eggs, lizards and insects.

The fennec fox has a pale coat which blends in with the desert sand. Its coat does not absorb as much of the sun's rays as a dark coat would do. It has fur between its foot pads so it can walk on hot desert sand.

Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae