Fennec Fox Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

This lesson will teach you about a kind of fox called the fennec fox. You will learn where they live, what they eat and some other cool facts about this interesting animal.

What is a Fennec Fox?

You are walking through a sandy desert in the still night air. Suddenly, you see movement out of the corner of your eye. You turn slowly to see what might be lurking there, waiting. At first, you can barely see it because it blends in with the sand so well, but you finally figure out what it is! It's a tiny fox with huge ears! Meet the fennec fox!

Fennec foxes are very small light tan and cream-colored foxes that live in sandy deserts. They are the tiniest kind of fox in the world and weigh only 2 to 3 pounds, but their ears can be as big as 6 inches long!

Fennec Fox
Fennec Fox Resting

You might think those big ears are used to listen for prey, and that is half right. Fennec foxes do have great hearing and can even hear prey underground. But those giant ears also give off body heat so they don't get too hot. They have their own built-in cooling system right on top of their head!

Their ears aren't the only way they stay cool in the heat. They have very thick, light-colored fur that protects them from heat during the day and keeps them warm during cold desert nights. The light color also helps them blend in with their surroundings, making them harder to spot.

The fennec fox's feet are also covered in fur, kind of like socks, so they don't get burned on the hot desert sand. Their furry feet are also good at moving through soft sand that can be hard to walk on, and they are great for digging!

Fennec Fox with Furry Feet
Fennec Fox with Furry Feet

Where do Fennec Foxes Live?

In the wild, fennec foxes live in the deserts of North Africa and Arabia, where it is very hot. They are nocturnal, which means that they are most active at night. In addition to their big ears and thick fur, looking for food at night is another way they stay cool.

Remember those fur-covered feet that are great for digging? They use them to dig dens in the ground, where they also stay cool during the heat of the day.

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