The Fennec fox, or fennec (Vulpes zerda), is a small crepuscular fox found in the Sahara of North Africa, the Sinai Peninsula, South West Israel (Arava desert) and the Arabian desert. Its most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which also serve to dissipate heat. Its name comes from the Berber word (fanak), which means fox, and the species name zerda comes from the Greek word xeros which means dry, referring to the fox's habitat. The fennec is the smallest species of canid. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to high-temperature, low-water, desert environments. Also, its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds.
The fennec has a life span of up to 14 years in captivity. Its main predators are the African varieties of eagle owl, jackals, and other large mammals. Families of fennecs dig out dens in the sand for habitation and protection, which can be as large as 120 m2 (1,292 sq ft) and adjoin the dens of other families. Precise population figures are not known but are estimated from the frequency of sightings; these indicate that the animal is currently not threatened by extinction. Knowledge of social interactions is limited to information gathered from captive animals. The species is usually assigned to the genus Vulpes; however, this is debated due to differences between the fennec fox and other fox species. The fennec's fur is prized by the indigenous peoples of North Africa, and in some parts of the world, the animal is considered an exotic pet.
|Fennec fox at Virginia Zoological Park, Norfolk, Virginia|
The fennec fox weighs about 0.7–1.6 kg (1.5–3.5 lb), with a body length of between 24–41 cm (9–16 in); it is around 20.3 cm (8 in) tall. It is the smallest species of canid in the world. The tail has a black tip and is 18–31 cm (7–12 in) long, while the ears can be between 10–15 cm (3.9–5.9 in) long.
The coat is often a cream colour and fluffy, which deflects heat during the day and keeps the fox warm at night. The fennec's characteristic ears are the largest among all foxes relative to body size, and serve to dissipate heat, as they have many blood vessels close to the skin. The ears of a fennec are sensitive enough to hear prey that may be underground; the soles of its feet are protected from the hot desert sand by thick fur.
The species was previously classified in the genus Fennecus, but has since been reclassified to the genus Vulpes which includes a variety of other types of foxes. Scientists have noted that while there are similarities, there are many differences that set the fennec fox apart from other fox species, including both physical and social traits. This has led to two conflicting classifications: Vulpes zerda, implying that the fennec fox is a true fox, and Fennecus zerda, implying that the fennec fox belongs to its own genus.
Physically, the fennec lacks the musk glands of other fox species, and has only 32 chromosome pairs, while other fox species have between 35 and 39. The species also displays behaviors uncharacteristic of foxes, such as living in packs while most other fox species are solitary.
Information on fennec fox social behavior is mainly based on captive animals. The basic social unit is thought to be a mated pair and their offspring, and the young of the previous year are believed to remain in the family even after a new litter is born. Playing behavior is common, including among adults of the species. Fennec foxes make a variety of sounds, including barking, a purring sound similar to that of a domestic cat, and a snarl if threatened.
Captive animals engage in highly social behaviors, typically resting while in contact with each other. Males tend to show more aggression and urine-marking around the time of the females' estrous cycle. They have been seen to bury feces by pushing soil with their noses or hind feet when in captivity. Much remains unknown of their basic ecology and behavior in the wild, and a 2004 report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature stated that "in-depth study of the species, with particular emphasis on habitat use and population dynamics in the wild, is overdue."
The fennec fox is an omnivore. Food sources include rodents, insects, birds, eggs, and rabbits. An individual can jump up to 2 ft (61 cm) high and 4 ft (120 cm) forward, which helps it catch prey and escape predators. When hunting, large-eared foxes such as the fennec, or the bat-eared fox, can seem to stare at the ground while they rotate their heads from side to side to pinpoint the location of prey, either underground or hidden above ground. There are reports that fennec foxes climb date palms while foraging for fruit; however, some experts consider these reports unlikely unless low branches are available for support.
The species can live without free water, as its kidneys are adapted to restrict water loss. A fennec's burrowing can cause the formation of dew. They are also known to absorb water through food consumption, but will drink water if available.
Fennec foxes are social animals that mate for life, with each pair or family controlling their own territory. Sexual maturity is reached at around nine months old. In the wild, mating usually occurs between January and February for litters to be born between March and April. However, in captivity most litters are born later, between March and July, although births can occur year-round. The species usually breeds only once each year. The copulation tie has been recorded as lasting up to two hours and 45 minutes. Following mating, the male becomes very aggressive and protective of the female, providing her with food during her pregnancy and lactation periods.
Gestation is usually between 50 and 52 days, although there have been 62- and 63-day gestation periods reported from foxes in captivity. The typical litter is between one and four kits, with weaning taking place at around 61 to 70 days. When born, the kit's ears are folded over and its eyes are closed, with the eyes opening at around ten days, and the ears lifting soon afterward. The life span of a fennec fox has been recorded as up to 14 years in captivity.
The species is found in North Africa and Asia. The range is from Morocco through to Egypt, as far south as northern Niger, and as far east as the Sinai Peninsula, southwestern Israel (Arava Desert) and Kuwait.
A fennec fox's typical den is dug in sand, either in open areas or places sheltered by plants with stable sand dunes considered to be their ideal habitat. In compacted soils, dens can be up to 120 square meters, with up to 15 different entrances. In some cases different families interconnect their dens, or locate them close together. In soft, looser sand, dens tend to be simpler with only one entrance leading to a single chamber.
The fennec fox is classified as "least concern" on the IUCN Red List, and as a CITES Appendix II species: species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but whose trade must be controlled to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival. It is often hunted by humans, though it does not cause any direct harm to human interests, such as livestock. Like other foxes, it is prized for its fur by the indigenous people of the Sahara and Sinai.
Current statistics on population are not known, but the population is assumed to be adequate based on observations of traders commonly trapping fennec foxes in Northern Africa for exhibition or sale to tourists. In southern Morocco, the fennec fox is commonly seen in sandy areas away from permanent human settlements.
The fennec fox's main predators are the various African varieties of eagle owl. Other possible predators include caracals, jackals, striped hyenas, and the Saluki, a greyhound-like domestic dog local to the area. However, fennec foxes are considered very difficult to capture, and reports of predators other than the eagle owl are considered to be anecdotal and questionable.
Fennec foxes are commonly trapped for sale to the pet trade and for fur by the human population of Northern Africa. In southern Morocco in particular, their meat is not eaten because it is considered to be foul smelling.
The fennec fox is bred commercially as an exotic house pet. Fennec foxes can be tamed, but are not domesticated and remain wild animals. Breeders tend to remove the young kits from the mother to hand-raise, as tamer and more handleable foxes are more valuable.
The species is classified a "small wild/exotic canid" by the United States Department of Agriculture, along with the coyote, dingo, jackal, and Arctic fox, and is considered the only species of fox, other than the Russian domesticated red fox, which can properly be kept as a pet. Although it cannot be considered domesticated, it can be kept in a domestic setting similar to dogs or cats. A breeders' registry has been set up in the United States to avoid any problems associated with inbreeding. The legality of owning a fennec fox varies by jurisdiction, as with many exotic pets.
A fennec fox named Finnick was depicted in Disney's Zootopia. As a result of the popularity of the movie, the Los Angeles Times reported that Chinese children are begging their parents to procure the animals as pets.
Fenneko, a character from the 2018 Netflix's series Aggretsuko.
The fennec fox is the inspiration for Saint-Exupery's fox in The Little Prince.
A fennec is a commonly-occurring natural animal in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
The auricle or auricula is the visible part of the ear that resides outside the head. It is also called the pinna (Latin for wing / fin, plural pinnae), a term that is used more in zoology.Blanford's fox
Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana), is a small fox found in certain regions of the Middle East and Central Asia.Canidae
The biological family Canidae
(from Latin, canis, “dog”) is a lineage of carnivorans that includes domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, dingoes, and many other extant and extinct dog-like mammals. A member of this family is called a canid (, ).The cat-like feliforms and dog-like caniforms emerged within the Carnivoramorpha 43 million years before present. The caniforms included the fox-like genus Leptocyon whose various species existed from 34 million years ago (Mya) before branching 11.9 Mya into Vulpini (foxes) and Canini (canines).Canids are found on all continents, having arrived independently or accompanied human beings over extended periods of time. Canids vary in size from the 2-m-long (6 ft 7 in) gray wolf to the 24-cm-long (9.4 in) fennec fox. The body forms of canids are similar, typically having long muzzles, upright ears, teeth adapted for cracking bones and slicing flesh, long legs, and bushy tails. They are mostly social animals, living together in family units or small groups and behaving co-operatively. Typically, only the dominant pair in a group breeds, and a litter of young is reared annually in an underground den. Canids communicate by scent signals and vocalizations. They are very intelligent. One canid, the domestic dog, long ago entered into a partnership with humans and today remains one of the most widely kept domestic animals.Eurocopter Fennec
The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) AS550 Fennec (now H125M) and AS555 Fennec 2 are lightweight, multipurpose military helicopters manufactured by Eurocopter Group (now Airbus Helicopters). Based on the AS350 Ecureuil and AS355 Ecureuil 2 series, they are named after the fennec fox. The armed versions of the AS550 and AS555 can be fitted with coaxial weapons, rockets, torpedoes and various other munitions.Fenech
There are various interpretations of the origins of the surname Fenech. The most notable is the meaning of "rabbit", since fenek is rabbit in Maltese. This in turn comes from the Arabic word for fox, فَنَك (fenek, fanak, “fennec fox”) which like the rabbit has large ears as its distinguishing feature and may have been confused during the development of the Maltese language which borrows heavily from Semitic languages. The word is also thought to be a respelling of Fenich, the German for millet farmer.Fennec
Fennec or Fennek may refer to:
Fennec (climate program), a climate program in the central Sahara
Fennec fox, a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara desert
Fennec (TV series), a French 1998 Cartoon series
Fennec, codename of the free software fork of the Mozilla Firefox for Android web browser
Les Fennecs, a nickname for the Algeria national football team
Maryann Fox, or Fennek Suicide, one of the SuicideGirls
Silas Fennec, a character in China Miéville's novel The ScarFennec (TV series)
Fennec is a French animated series, about a Fennec fox of the same name who solves little mysteries in the peaceful town of Chewington. The series was based on the book collection "Pickpocket" written by Alexis Lecaye and published by Gallimard.The series aired in France on France 3, IDF1 and Playhouse Disney, in Belgium on Ketnet and K-T.V., in the Netherlands on Yorkiddin and K-T.V., in Spain on Fox Kids and in Scandinavia on K-T.V..Fox
Foxes are small-to-medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. Foxes have a flattened skull, upright triangular ears, a pointed, slightly upturned snout, and a long bushy tail (or brush).
Twelve species belong to the monophyletic "true foxes" group of genus Vulpes. Approximately another 25 current or extinct species are always or sometimes called foxes; these foxes are either part of the paraphyletic group of the South American foxes, or of the outlying group, which consists of bat-eared fox, gray fox, and island fox. Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with about 47 recognized subspecies. The global distribution of foxes, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their prominence in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world. The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe, especially in the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World.Kit fox
The kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) is a fox species of North America. Its range is primarily in the Southwestern United States and northern and central Mexico. Some mammalogists classify it as conspecific with the swift fox, V. velox, but molecular systematics imply that the two species are distinct.Labib (mascot)
Labib was the official mascot of the environment in Tunisia from 1992 until 13 April 2012, when the Minister of the Environment, Mémia El Benna, announced the end of its use.Mega Man Battle Network 3
Mega Man Battle Network 3, known as Battle Network Rockman EXE 3 (バトルネットワーク ロックマンエグゼ3, Batoru Nettowāku Rokkuman Eguze Surī) in Japan, is a video game developed by Capcom for the Game Boy Advance (GBA) handheld game console. It is the third game in the Mega Man Battle Network series, released in 2002 in Japan and 2003 in North America. While in North America and Europe, two complementary versions of the game - Blue and White - exist, marketed simultaneously, this was not the case in Japan. The game was released in a single version in this region, while a Black (ブラック, Burakku) version containing bugfixes, new areas, optional bosses, and other improvements, was released some months after the original. It was released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in Japan on December 17, 2014 and in North America on May 14, 2015.Mega Man Network Transmission
Mega Man Network Transmission, known in Japan as Rockman EXE Transmission (ロックマン エグゼ トランスミッション, Rokkuman Eguze Toransumisshon), is a video game developed by Arika and published by Capcom and ShoPro Entertainment for the Nintendo GameCube console. The game was first released in Japan on 6 March 2003, and in North America and PAL regions the following June. Network Transmission is part of the Mega Man Battle Network series, which originated on the Game Boy Advance (GBA) handheld.
Taking place one month after the events of the first Megaman Battle Network game, the plot follows the protagonist Lan Hikari and his online avatar MegaMan.EXE in their fight against the "WWW (World Three)" organization and its attempt to unleash and spread the infectious "Zero Virus" into cyberspace. The player controls MegaMan through a set of levels that require actions such as jumping, sliding, and shooting, as well as the use of special "Battle Chips" that grant the player various combat and movement abilities. Network Transmission combines action and platforming gameplay elements from older Mega Man games with the strategy and role-playing elements as defined by the Battle Network series.
The development team's intent was to meld these attributes into a home console title that would appeal to the young gamer audience that they found with the GBA series. Critical reception for Network Transmission has been mostly average reviews. Although it received some positive remarks for its Battle Chip gameplay, many critics have complained that the game features a high or unbalanced difficulty level. The game's sound and its combination of 2D and 3D cel-shaded graphics have been met with varied opinions.Mega Man Zero 2
Mega Man Zero 2, known in Japan as Rockman Zero 2 (ロックマンゼロ2,, Rokkuman Zero Tsū), is a video game developed by Inti Creates and published by Capcom for the Game Boy Advance (GBA) handheld game console. It is the second video game in the Mega Man Zero subseries of Mega Man video games. The European version also released the same day as the North American Mega Man X7 was. It was released in Japan on the Wii U's Virtual Console on January 7, 2015.Oscar's Oasis
Oscar's Oasis (French Oscar & Co) is a French-South Korean computer animated television series consisting of 78 7-minute episodes. It was produced by TeamTO and Tuba Entertainment, in association with Cake Entertainment, and Synergy Media with the participation of TF1, in coproduction with Canal+ Family, Teletoon, EBS, BENEX, and Carrimages 5, and the support of National Center of Cinematography and the moving image (CNC), the Rhône-Alpes Region, the Poitou-Charentes region and Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). Although the series contains no dialogue, it features the voices of Marie Facundo, Sly Johnson, Martial Le Minoux and Jérémy Prevost.Originally, the series was called Ooohhh Asis, and was composed of seven one-minute-and-a-half episodes, which were broadcast from 26 March 2008 on TF1. Oscar's Oasis debuted in its new format at the 2010 MIPTV Media Market. The series premiered on Canal+ and Canal+ Family in September 2010, and was broadcast on TF1 since late summer 2011. In July 2011, the series was released on Nintendo 3DS in 3D.Otarocyon
Otarocyon ("large eared dog") is an extinct genus of the family Borophaginae ("bone-crushing dog"). It was a terrestrial canine which was small in size endemic to North America during the Orellan and Geringian stages of the Oligocene epoch, about 33.3—20.6 Ma (million years ago).Rare species
A rare species is a group of organisms that are very uncommon, scarce, or infrequently encountered. This designation may be applied to either a plant or animal taxon, and is distinct from the term endangered or threatened. Designation of a rare species may be made by an official body, such as a national government, state, or province. The term more commonly appears without reference to specific criteria. The IUCN does not normally make such designations, but may use the term in scientific discussion.Rarity rests on a specific species being represented by a small number of organisms worldwide, usually fewer than 10,000. However, a species having a very narrow endemic range or fragmented habitat also influences the concept. Almost 75% of known species can be classified as "rare."The International Union for Conservation of Nature uses the term "rare" as a designation for species found in isolated geographical locations. They are not endangered but classified as "at risk."A species may be endangered or vulnerable, but not considered rare if it has a large, dispersed population. Rare species are generally considered threatened because a small population size is more likely to not recover from ecological disasters.Rare species are species with small populations. Many move into the endangered or vulnerable category if the negative factors affecting them continue to operate. Examples of rare species include the Himalayan brown bear, Fennec fox, Wild Asiatic buffalo and Hornbill.
A rare plant's legal status can be observed through the USDA's Plants Database.Vulpes
Vulpes is a genus of the Canidae. The members of this genus are colloquially referred to as true foxes, meaning they form a proper clade. The word "fox" occurs on the common names of species. True foxes are distinguished from members of the genus Canis, such as dogs, wolves, coyotes, and jackals, by their smaller size (5–11 kg) and flatter skulls. They have black, triangular markings between their eyes and noses, and the tips of their tails are often a different color from the rest of their pelts. The typical lifespan for this genus is between two and four years, but can reach up to a decade.For animals commonly known as "foxes", but which are not true foxes, see Fox#Classification.Vulpes riffautae
Vulpes riffautae is an extinct species of fox from the late Miocene of Chad (approximately 7 ma). Fossils of V. riffautae potentially represent the earliest record of the dog family, Canidae, in the Old World. V. riffautae was intermediate in size between Rüppell's fox (Vulpes rueppellii) and the fennec fox (V. zerda).
Extant Carnivora species