Thursday, June 5, 2014

Creature Feature #229: Fennec

The smallest canine in the world, the Fennec inhabits the dry nothern areas of Africa. He is nocturnal, sleeping in sand burrows during the day and venturing out at night to forage on insects, eggs, rodents and plants. He is well adapted for the arid environment: his large ears disipiate heat and give him sensitive hearing - he can hear prey moving underground. His pelt is thick to keep him warm in the night and deflects the sun during the day. Even the pads of his paws are furred, to protect against the burning sand.  Dens are large, and often interconnect with those of their neighbours. He mates for life, and offspring will remain with their parents even after the next litter is born. Playing is common, even amongst adults.

These almost cat-like traits combined with the fairy-cuteness of this petite fox have "earned" him a place in the exotic pet trade. They are not, however, domesticated, and are very quick and curious which means special care must be taken to make sure they do not escape.

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