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Fennec Fox Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Vulpes zerda
  • Class

  • Order

  • Range

    Sahara Desert and North Africa

  • Status

    Common. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Fennec Fox Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

  • Habitat

    Desert sands and brush

  • Niche

    A nocturnal omnivore, the fennec fox hunts rodents, insects and birds—and browses desert grasses and fruits—under moonlight.

  • Life History

    Though cute in appearance, male fennec foxes become aggressive during mating season. Females birth two–five young once a year, which they nurse in the den until the young are old enough to explore the desert.

  • Special Adaptations

    • Those huge ears help the fennec fox dissipate heat and detect sound from prey. They are sensitive enough to detect beetles walking across the sand.
    • Thick hair insulates them on cold nights and blocks the sun during the day.
    • Hairy feet serve as boots to protect from the elements.
    • To protect themselves from the extremes of their environment, fennec foxes live in underground dens.


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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

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