The Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda) is a small nocturnal fox found in the north of the Sahara Desert of North Africa which has distinctively large ears. Its name comes from the Arabic fenek, a term for various fur-bearing animals.
The Fennec Fox weighs up to 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) with a body length of up to 40 cm (16 in). The tail is an additional 25 cm (10 in) or so, and the ears can be 15 cm (6 in) long. The coats are often a sandy color, allowing them to blend with their desert surroundings. Its characteristic ears serve to dissipate heat and to hear the movement of prey at night. Its ears are sensitive enough to hear large insects, such as beetles and locusts walk on the sand. Its coat reflects sunlight during the day and conserves heat at night. The soles of its feet are protected from the hot sand by thick fur.
The Fennec Fox is a nocturnal omnivore. At night, it hunts rodents, insects, birds, and eggs of birds. Much of the diet is desert vegetation, from which the Fennec Fox gets most of its water. This consists of grasses, some roots, and some fruit and berries.
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