The fennec fox, also called the "desert fox," is the smallest known species of fox. This creature lives in the deserts of the Middle East and northern Africa, and grows to be between 9 and 16 inches long and 2 and 3 pounds in weight.
Despite its small body size, this creature has proportionally very large ears that measure around 6 inches long. The creature also is an excellent jumper, able to leap 2 feet in the air (around twice its body length) and 4 feet horizontally. These abilities enable the fox to pursue other desert animals such as rodents, reptiles and insects. The fennec fox also eats eggs and plants, and is classified by scientists as an omnivore (despite being a member of the order Carnivora).
The fennec fox is well-adapted to its harsh, desert environment. The creature's large ears act as cooling agents by radiating heat. The fennec fox is also most active at night, when the temperature is substantially cooler.
The fennec fox sometimes joins small groups of other fennec foxes. These groups may form a community of dens where the females give birth to their litters. Females give birth to litters once a year, and each litter usually consists of two to four young.