Bat-Eared Fox

ANIMAL:
Bat-Eared Fox Otocyon megalotis

Type of Animal:
Canine

Habitat:
Grassland, savanna, brush, plains, scrubland, shrubland, prefers areas w/ shorter grass, desert, semidesert, prefers arid & semiarid areas

Location(s):
E & southern Africa

Appearance:
Noticeable huge ears, tawny to sandy gray fur, black ears/legs/, bushy tail

Food/Diet:
Termites, millipedes, eggs, fruit, beetles, small birds, small mammals, reptiles, plant matter, vegetables, grasshoppers, scorpions, spiders, beetle larvae, crickets, ants, moths, carrion, desert truffle

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & breeding centers

Lifestyle:
Family groups consist of male, 1-3 females,& 1-6 sets of offspring w/ 1-6 kits each. Sibling groups also occur.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Dog
Female: Vixen
Young: Kit
Group: Skulk
 
Weight:
Male: 9.9 lbs
Female: 9.7 lbs
Young: 1 lb

Gestation:
9 weeks 

Life Span:
5-6 years in wild, up to 13 years in captivity

Height:
Male: 1.3 ft
Female: 1 ft

Body Length:
Male: 2.16 ft
Female: 1.5 ft

Tail Length:
1-1.16 ft, same for both sexes

Main predators of adults are lions, cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs, leopards, jackals, rock pythons, crocodiles, & raptors.
 
Prey located more often by hearing rather than smell or sight-it’s where those big ears come in handy.
 
Besides being used in detecting prey, large ears also used for thermoregulation.
 
Obtain much of their water from their food.
 
Can breed as young as 6 months old.
 
Nocturnal in E Africa. In southern Africa, nocturnal in summer & diurnal in winter.
 
Kits emerge from den at 1-1.5 weeks.
 
Sometimes persecuted by farmers since it’s perceived as a chicken killer. While they occasionally eat chicks, they’re actually highly beneficial since harvester termites are their favorite food.
 
Kits suckle for up to 15 weeks.
 
They’re excellent diggers.
 
1 family can have more than 10 different den systems.
 
Males guard kits while females forage.
 
Large bushy tail can work as rudder when fleeing from predators.
 
Unlike many canids, they’re only loosely territorial.

Fun Fact(s):
They can run as fast as 70 mph.
 
Ears can be over 5 in long.
 
Often hang/den around hoofed mammals, because insects hover around their poop-including dung beetles-one of the fox’s favorite foods.
 
Single fox can eat up to 1.15 million termites per year.

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