2. Fennec Foxes
Those oversized ears are not only excellent for listening purposes but also serve as a way to dissipate heat and keep cool in the desert environment.
Fennec Foxes are exotic animals that you can also have as pet, though they require different treatment than domestic cats and dogs. They are extremely playful and family friendly, even look more like a mix of cat and dog than a fox. Their furry body, small size and big ears make them one of the cutest animals on earth.
The fennec fox or fennec is a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara of North Africa. Its most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which also serve to dissipate heat. The fennec is the smallest species of canid. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to high-temperature, low-water, desert environments. In addition, its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds.
The fennec has a life span of up to 14 years in captivity. Its main predators are the African varieties of eagle owl. Families of fennecs dig out dens in sand for habitation and protection, which can be as large as 120 m2 and adjoin the dens of other families. Precise population figures are not known but are estimated from the frequency of sightings; these indicate that the animal is currently not threatened by extinction. Knowledge of social interactions is limited to information gathered from captive animals. The species is usually assigned to the genus Vulpes; however, this is debated due to differences between the fennec fox and other fox species. The fennec’s fur is prized by the indigenous peoples of North Africa, and in some parts of the world, the animal is considered an exotic pet.