|Photo Credit: Yvonne N. (via Wikimedia Commons)|
Fennec foxes are native to the Sahara desert and other parts of northern Africa. Living in the desert, they need a way to keep cool, and that's what the gigantic ears are for. There are lots of blood vessels near the skin of those ears, which help radiate body heat. Their light colored fur reflects the heat of the sun and protects the fox's skin, and it also keeps them warm during the cold desert nights.
Five more Fennec fox facts:
- Like many desert animals, they can live for long periods of time without drinking water (they survive from the moisture in their food).
- Their diet consists mainly of insects, but they also eat rodents, lizards, and plant matter.
- They have fuzzy feet to help them walk on the hot sand.
- When temperatures rise above 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), the foxes may start to pant. When panting, their respiratory rate rises from 23 breaths per minute to 690 breaths per minute.
- The "copulation tie" has been known to last two hours and forty-five minutes!