What’s a Baby Fennec Fox Called + 5 More Amazing Facts & Pictures!

Written by Sadie Dunlap
Published: January 6, 2022
Image Credit Lucie Bartikova/Shutterstock.com
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Have you ever wondered if baby fennec foxes can hear well with their giant ears? Or maybe you were curious how they survive in their home, the desert, without much water. In this article, we have the answers to all your burning questions about the adorable baby fennec fox. 

Let’s dive right into 6 awesome facts about the baby fennec fox! 

#1: A Baby Fennec Fox is Called a Kit!

baby fennec fox closeup
Young fennec foxes are called kits!

Lucie Bartikova/Shutterstock.com

Fennec foxes are called kits as babies, while a group of baby foxes is a litter. An adult male fennec fox is called a reynard and an adult female fox is called a vixen. A group of adult foxes is called a skulk or a leash. Did you know that foxes aren’t the only animals called kits? They share this name with rabbits, bats, and even coyotes!

#2: Kits are Nocturnal 

baby fennec fox sleeping
Fennec fox kits sleep during the day and are awake at night.

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Fennec fox kits are nocturnal, which means they spend most of their waking hours after the sun goes down. This means that the baby animals have special adaptations that make being nocturnal possible. 

Perhaps one of the most useful senses a baby fennec fox has is its eyesight. These tiny mammals can see extraordinarily well at night, which is beneficial for safety. Being able to see well in the dark also means that they can catch prey more easily. 

#3: Baby Fennec Foxes Have Giant Ears 

baby fennec fox kits
Fennec foxes have ears that are larger than their heads, which makes them exceptionally adorable.

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There’s no doubt that fennec fox kits have extraordinarily large ears. These babies have a very large ear-to-body ratio, with their ears being bigger than their entire head. You might be surprised to learn what all the nimble foxes use them for. 

Fennec foxes feast on many underground animals. This means that their giant ears come in handy when they need to find food. With their astoundingly sharp hearing, they can easily find and capture prey. Fennec foxes can hear prey up to 100 feet away! However, that’s not all they use their ears for. When the kits get hot, they can be used as a shade or even a makeshift fan.

#4: Baby Fennec Foxes are Very Fragile

baby fennec fox closeup
Newborn fennec foxes are dependent on their mothers for survival.

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When born, fennec fox kits can’t open their eyes or walk. The kits depend on their mother to protect them and provide them with milk. Fennec fox kits can open their eyes at around one and a half to two weeks old and they can begin to walk around at the same time. 

Fennec fox kits are only a few inches long at birth, so these babies are incredibly fragile and need a lot of assistance to survive. Without their mothers to feed and protect them, the chances of fennec fox kits survival are extremely low.

#5: Baby Fennec Foxes Have Insulated Feet

baby fennec fox portrait
To protect themselves from the heat of desert sand, fennec fox kits have special padding on their feet.

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In the Sahara Desert, the summer temperature can range from 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The sand that makes up dunes in the desert reaches even higher temperatures and would be extremely painful to walk on with your bare feet. 

Baby fennec foxes are born with extra padding on their feet to protect them against the harsh weather they endure. Without all the extra hair, their pads would be burned by the scorching hot sand. This makes them the perfect desert animal.

#6: Kits Don’t Need Much Water

adorable baby fennec fox
Fennec fox babies have to get creative when it comes to finding water.

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With the desert being the fennec foxes primary home, you might think they require a lot of water to stay hydrated, but that is actually not the case. They are a rare carnivore that is able to live in the desert without a steady water supply. The little bit of water that they do need comes from unlikely sources.

When they burrow it causes dew to form, which is one way they have access to water. Another way the baby fennec fox gets some water in their system is by eating. Their kidneys have adapted over time to extract the water from the blood they consume.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are baby fennec foxes called?

Baby fennec foxes are called kits. Males are called reynards and females are called vixens. A group of kits is called a litter, while a group of adults is called a leash or a skulk.

How much do baby fennec foxes weigh?

Kits weigh about one and a half ounces and are about 5 inches long when they are born, so they are very tiny babies. By the time they are full-grown at around 11 months old, they will weigh about 50 ounces and be about 15 inches long.

What do baby fennec foxes eat?

For the first 5 weeks of their lives, kits survive solely on their mother’s milk. After five weeks old, they start to wean from the milk and they go on to more solid foods. Foxes are omnivores therefore they have a wide variety in their diet. They will eat anything from berries and grass to bugs and small rodents.

Where do baby fennec foxes live?

In general, fennec foxes live in dry and desert-like areas. Many live in the Nubian and Sahara deserts but are found in a wide area of other places. They dig deep down into the sand dunes and create burrows with different rooms or chambers. Fennec foxes are also known as desert foxes.

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