Fennec Fox
(Vulpes zerda) #63-388

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Physical characteristics and distribution

Fennec Fox Vulpes zerda

Head and body length of V. zerda is 357-407 mm with a tail length of 178-305 mm. The smallest of all the canids, V. zerda has the largest ears in proportion to its body. Fennec Foxes are also the palest of all the foxes. The soft, thick pelage is reddish cream, light fawn, or nearly white above, and the under parts are white. The tail is heavily furred and the tip is black. V. zerda has fur on the soles of the feet to enable easy movement over sand.

V. zerda
is found in arid regions and build burrows several meters long in the sand. Digging is done so rapidly that it appears to sink into the ground. It may dig to find food in addition to digging for shelter. The Fennec Fox eats a wide variety of vegetable matter, small rodents, birds and their eggs, lizards, and insects including a pest known as the migratory locust. Studies on captive animals suggest that V. zerda may be able to survive without free water for an indefinite period of time.

As many as 10 individuals may live in a group, with males becoming highly aggressive during the mating season. The males' territory is marked with urine. He will stay with his mate after she has given birth, and defend the nest site, but does not enter the maternal den. Litters are produced yearly, but if the first is lost, another may be produced in 2.5 to 3 months. Gestation lasts 50-52 days and litters average 2-5 offspring. The babies are weaned at 61-70 days and become sexually mature at 11 months.

Because of aggressive hunting practices in the Sahara, V. zerda is listed on Appendix 2 of the CITES.

V. zerda
is found in Chad, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Saudia Arabia, Sudan and Tunisia.

Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation

Our Fennec Foxspecimen was obtained from a dealer of overseas animals. It is a desert fox from Africa.

All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

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