Friday fennec fox FTW

From reader Lee in Tasmania, who sent this video with the note “Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney has released video of a fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) kit”:

Even adult fennecs are tiny: about half the weight of a house cat (fennecs weigh about 1.5–3.5 lb, or 0.7–1.6 kg), so you can imagine how small that kit is. Pity there’s no way to see it to scale.

Oh, and they live in the Sahara Desert, which explains in two ways why their ears are so large.

21 Comments

  1. Cindy
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I have an Abyssinian kitty and her her ears are pretty big.

    Is this a safe space wherein i can admit that I am an ear fetishist?

    I love big ears on animals, especially kitties!

    The ancestors of Abys come from a very hot climate, which explains the big ears.

  2. Ann German
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    The Baby Animals Rant the News (B.A.R.N.) folks need to use the Vulpes zerda in one of their videos . . . .

  3. Posted February 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    To hear better for underground prey and cooling maybe??

    • Cindy
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      The Arctic fox has tiny ears to prevent heat loss.

  4. rickflick
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    My daughter owns a very find dog she claims is a chiweenie. A mix of chiwawa and dachshund. It’s ears are reminiscent of the fennec fox.

    Chiweenie

    • Debbie Coplan
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      I love that dog!!

  5. Heather Hastie
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Completely enchanting! What lovely animals!

  6. Jeremy Rigsby
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Thermoregulation and what’s the other one?

    • Posted February 3, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Better satellite reception.

      • Jeremy Rigsby
        Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Hey, a good GPS is damn handy in a desert.

        Consensus seems to be “so they can hear better” which is probably true but boring. I was hoping for something neato like “increased surface area for collecting dew” or something like that.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Directional hearing.

  7. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    There are a few cues to scale in the video: the graininess of the sand, the seed heads on the grass, the creases in the foxes’ fur, but mostly in the proportions of their bodies. A fox built like a kitten is probably about the size of a kitten, because that’s the appropriate ratio of strength to mass for an animal that size.

  8. allison
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    May I nominate the Fennec Fox for Honorary Cat™ status?

    • Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      All foxes were awarded that some months ago, but perhaps these deserve high honors?

  9. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    My squee-dometer is at 11.

  10. squidmaster
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I agree that thermoregulation is one reason to have big ears. The other reason is undoubtedly related to hearing. Are the foxes nocturnal? Prey is sparse in the desert and may be burrowing, so good hearing would be helpful.

  11. Posted February 4, 2017 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Cute

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 2:05 am | Permalink

      Yes.

      Also, sub.

  12. Andrea Kenner
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Adorable!

  13. Mike
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    It looks a fiesty little bugger, could imagine it being a handful in the Sahara with the likelihood of Predators,probably explains the nervousness of the Parents.

  14. Cindy
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Fennec foxes were in the news a few months ago:

    http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/23/is-zootopia-creating-demand-for-pet-fennec-foxes-in-china-spoiler-probably-not/


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