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Fennec fox

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Fennec fox
Vulpes zerda (Zimmermann, 1780).jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Vulpes zerda

Fennex Fox
Fennec Fox.jpg

The Fennec Fox is a species of true fox known by the scientific name (Vulpes Zerda). They are not only the smallest species of fox found in the Sahara of North Africa, but is also the smallest species of canids in the world. They are desert creatures with a coat, ears and kidney which help them deal with high-temperatures. They require little water, and have sensitive hearing which allows them to hear prey.

The Fennec Foxes can live up to 10 years in the wild. They have predator instincts that are similar to that of eagles and owls. Fennec Foxes can dig out dens in sand for habitation and protection from predators. Population are not known, but estimations from animal centers say that this species though currently not threatened of extinction, but is steadily getting worst. Moreover, people don't have much information and knowledge of Fennec Foxes.[1] This species is usually assigned to the genus Vulpes. However, this is debated due to differences between the Fennec Fox and other fox species, because Fennec Foxes are also raised as exotic pets.[2]

Anatomy

Fennec Fox

Fennec foxes are the smallest foxes, ranging from 14 to 17 inches long. Their tails are about 8 inches long, and the bushy tail, called a sweep, helps them change direction quickly and keeps the fox's feet and nose worm when cold. Their weigh approximately 2~3.5 pounds.[3] They have small canids with a sandy color coat and they have the largest ears among the fox families. The outer edges of the ears are reddish brown. It is used for hearing the movements of both enemies and prey. Also, they protect their bodies with hair, the hair of their coat and feet provide camouflage and protection with their surroundings of rock and sand. [4]

Reproduction

Reproduction

They produce their babies through sexual reproduction mating during January and February, and birth occurs during late winter to spring. The mate stays with the female for 50 days, and the first litter will usually be lost but the second litter can successfully survive two to three month later. Normally, two babies are born but under different circumstances, the parents will give birth to four or five or more babies.[5] The mother hides her babies for about two weeks in the cave. The father's role is to catch prey. After two weeks, the babies can open their eyes the mother looks after the liter for another month. Babies wait for meals, but their parents give them treatment. The young reaches adult size and sexual maturity shortly after in about nine months and they permanently move out from their parents lair and begin their adult life cycle.[6]

Ecology

Fennec Fox habitat

Fennec foxes live in the deserts of Northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. However, the Fennec Fox are considered endangered. They are suffering from loss of habitat and they are also hunted by the people of the Sahara, pushing them to become rare in parts of Northwestern Africa. Even though they are a threat to people's livestock. However, Fennec foxes are important to us because they are part of the food chain, and they are called small hunters that control the populations of several pests, rodents, and locusts. As a result, Fennec foxes and every animal are important to the balance of many ecosystems and give them private for live in deserts.[7]

Use Of Pet

Nowadays, Fennec foxes are of a commercial value and are sold as exotic pets. They are classified as a "small wild and exotic canid" by the United States Department of Agriculture. To make them tamer and easier to handle, breeders remove the babies from their mother at an early age and hand rear the baby. Because the babies are separated from their parents at an early stage, these babies are considered domesticated animal.[8] Raising these domesticated foxes have their own benefits as well. They among other things, they are great for home security. Hand raised fennec foxes are obedient and docile; biting is unusual, and only bite when they feel threatened or cornered. Like other pets, you can train them because they are cunning. Overall, they are friendly and they do not fear us.[9]

Video

Living in the Wild Extoic Pets

References

  • Vulpes Zerda Exploring Nature Educational Resource , Sheri Amsel, ©2005-2011.
  • Fennec Fox Katja Schulz., Encyclopedia of Life, 2010.12.14.07 .
  • Vulpes Zerda Marielle Elise, Helium, Copyright © 2002-2011.
  • Fennec Fox EnchantedLearning, EnchantedLearning, Copyright ©2000-2010.
  • Vulpes Zerda Ben Novak, Vulpes Zerda - Fennec Fox, April 27th, 2007.
  • Fennec Fox The Animal Spot, The Animal Spot Africa, ©2008.
  • Vulpes Zerda wekipedia, Wekipedia, on 12 February 2011 at 13:03..
  • Fennec Fox bevs lim, Bright Hub, ©2011.
  • Vulpes Zerda National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society, © 1996-2011 .