Bat-eared Fox

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Mammals

iBat-eared Fox

Conservation status

Least Concern (LC)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Otocyon
Müller, 1835
Species: O. megalotis
Binomial name
Otocyon megalotis
( Desmarest, 1822)

The Bat-eared Fox is a canid of the African savanna. It is named after its huge ears. Bat-eared Foxes have tawny fur, their ears, legs and parts of the face are black. They are 55 cm in length (head and body), their ears are 13 cm long. It is the only species in the genus Otocyon.

The teeth of the Bat-eared Fox are much smaller than teeth of other canid species. This is an adaptation to their insectivorous diet. 80% of the diet consist of insects. Bat-eared Foxes visit termite hills, follow locust swarms or stay close to herds of zebras or antelopes in order to feed on the insects landing on their excrements. In addition to insects Bat-eared Foxes eat rodents, birds and eggs, and sometimes fruits.

Bat-eared Foxes are nocturnal animals, that live in small groups consisting of a couple and their young. The pairs live in dens and raise the pups (two to five) together.

Due to their unusual teeth, Bat-eared Foxes were once considered as a distinct subfamily of canids (Otocyoninae). However, according to more recent examinations they are closely related to the true foxes of the genus Vulpes. Other research places the genus as an outgroup which is not very closely related to foxes. The Bat-eared Fox is an old species, that was widely distributed in the Pleistocene era. In that time it even lived in parts of West and South Asia.

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