Desert Fox: What You Should Know

The desert fox is the smallest of all foxes. It lives exclusively in the Sahara desert, but only where it is really dry. He doesn’t go to wet areas. It is also called “Fennec”.

The desert fox is very small: from the snout to the beginning of the tail, it only measures 40 centimeters at most. This is little more than a ruler at school. Its tail is about 20 centimeters long. Desert foxes don’t weigh much more than a kilogram.

The desert fox has adapted very well to the heat: its ears are huge and designed so that it can cool itself with them. He even has hair on the soles of his feet. This means that he feels the heat of the ground less strongly.

The fur is light brown like the desert sand. It’s a little lighter on the belly. So he is perfectly camouflaged. His kidneys filter a lot of waste from the blood, but very little water. That’s why the desert fox never has to drink anything. The liquid in its prey is enough.

How does the desert fox live?

Desert foxes are predators. They prefer small rodents, such as jerboas or gerbils. But they also eat rats, lizards, or geckos, which are also small lizards. They also like small birds and eggs, also fruits and tubers of plants. Sometimes they also eat what they find on humans. The water in their food is enough for them, so they don’t have to drink.

Desert foxes live in small families, as do many humans. They build caves to raise their young. They look for a place in the soft sand. If the ground is firm enough, they will build several burrows.

The parent’s mate at the beginning of the year. The gestation period lasts about seven weeks. The female usually gives birth to two to five puppies. The male defends his family and looks for food for everyone. The mother nurses her young with her milk for about ten weeks. From the third week, they also eat meat. The young stay with their parents for almost a year. Then they become self-employed and can make young themselves.

Desert foxes live about six years, but they can also live up to ten years. Their natural enemies are hyenas and jackals. The desert fox can defend itself best against its enemies because it is so incredibly quick. He tricks them and runs away from them.

Another important enemy is the man. Humans hunted desert foxes as early as the Neolithic Age. His fur is still sold to this day. Desert foxes are also caught alive in traps and then sold as pets.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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