Fenech is a small animal that lives in the desert regions of the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. It is considered the national animal of Algeria. The state even issues coins with his image. The name comes from the Arabic "fanak" - fox, with which, however, some scholars disagree fundamentally.
Fenech is a small desert chanterelle. Its body length is 30-40 cm - less than that of a domestic cat. The length of the tail is up to 30 cm. Some scientists distinguish this animal as a separate species - "Fennekus". The reason was the difference in the internal structure of ordinary foxes and desert animals. The main difference is that fenech has 32 chromosome pairs against 35-39 in other members of the genus. In addition, the desert dweller does not have the musky glands that are characteristic of other foxes. There are also differences in the external structure, in the social behavior of animals.
A distinctive feature of the animal's appearance is its large - relative to body size - ears, reaching a length of 15 cm. The animal has excellent hearing, and large auricles greatly contribute to this. In addition, the ears of the animal are the organ of thermoregulation, which is extremely important in hot desert climates.
Another feature of the animal is its fur-covered feet, which allow it to move easily and silently over the hot sands. The fur on the back of the fennec fox is reddish or fawn, on the belly it is white. This makes it unobtrusive against the sandy background of the desert. However, young animals are almost completely white; they acquire a characteristic reddish color with age.
Fennecs prefer to settle in the sparse thickets of desert vegetation available in some places. They are excellent diggers, they dig holes with a lot of camouflage tunnels, branches and emergency exits. They are capable of digging about 6 m of soil per night. Unlike other foxes, they live in groups of up to 10 individuals. They hunt alone.
Phenecs are omnivorous, feed on locusts, small rodents, lizards, arthropods, bird eggs. The animal digs up a significant part of its diet from the ground - the roots and tubers of plants. Fenech can go without water for a long time. He gets the necessary amount of moisture from food.
An interesting fact: a fennec animal is a small animal, which does not differ in strength and has weak jaw muscles; nevertheless, on occasion, it can “bite” an ostrich egg, the contents of which are hidden under a strong shell. The animal first rolls the egg close to the stone, and then by pushing its paws makes it collide with the stone. The egg breaks, the Fenech meal is provided.
Fenecs are monogamous and territorial. Each pair has its own feeding area. Once a year, the female gives birth to 2-6 cubs. The father protects the site and brings prey to the burrow. However, the female does not allow him to contact the offspring until the puppies reach the age of 5-6 weeks. Babies become independent at the age of 3 months.
In the wild, fennec foxes live up to 12 years, in captivity up to 15. Fennec foxes are the only animal of the fox genus that can live next to humans at home.
And lastly: the most famous fennec fox in the world is the fox, who was tamed by the hero of the philosophical fairy tale - the parable "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.