My, What Big Ears You Have!
Fennec foxes have unusually large ears for their body size. Their ears are about 4 – 6 inches in length, while their total body size is only 9 – 16 inches. The fennec fox’s ears serve two functions, the first is to find and locate prey. The ears provide acute hearing and can detect the slightest sounds. The second function is to cool their body. The large surface area of the ears helps to release excess body heat.
Fennec foxes can go long periods without drinking any water. A majority of the water they absorb comes from the plants and animals in their diet, which makes them well adapted for living in the desert.
Boots and shoes help keep our feet protected from the elements. Fennec foxes have dense hair on the bottom of their feet to protect them from the hot sands they walk on. It doesn’t seem to slow them down, though. Despite being the smallest canids, they can reach speeds up to 20 mph.
Diet: fruits, roots, rodents, birds, eggs, lizards, insects
Zoo Diet: formulated feed, whole prey, specialized carnivore diet, fruits, starch
Habitat: deserts, semi-arid regions
Weight: 2 – 4 lbs
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The Phoenix Zoo is one of the largest non-profit zoos in the U.S., caring for over 3,000 animals, with nearly 400 species represented, including many threatened/endangered species.