Interesting Facts About Bat Eared Fox

Bat Eared Fox – The bat-eared fox, a charming species inhabiting the plains of Eastern and Southern Africa, sustains itself on a diet primarily composed of termites, all while displaying its playful nature. With its endearing appearance, featuring ears that can extend up to 5 inches (13cm) in length, this inquisitive mammal roams the landscape, its ears popping out above the short grass. Yet, the true purpose of these oversized, dish-like ears might surprise you.

In Uganda, sightings of the bat-eared fox are possible in Kidepo Valley National Park and Pian Upe, located in the northeastern Karamoja region. This area boasts a remarkable abundance of predators, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and, notably, the bat-eared fox.

Bat-Eared Fox Facts Overview

Habitat:Grasslands, plains savannah
Location:Eastern and Southern Africa
Lifespan:Over 9 years
Size:18 to 26” (46 to 66cm)
Weight:7-12lb (3-5kg)
Color:Ashy grey, with black-tipped ears, black legs and tail
Diet:Mostly termites, also grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, larva, wild fruit
Predators:Hunting dogs, jackals, hyenas, cheetah
Top Speed:60 kph (35mph)
No. of Species:1
Conservation Status:Least concern

True to its name, the bat-eared fox possesses remarkably large ears, reminiscent of those found in many bat species. Its body typically showcases a yellow-brown hue, accentuated by a pale throat and underparts. Notably, the fox boasts distinct black markings on the outsides of its ears, creating a raccoon-like “face-mask,” as well as on its lower legs, feet, and tail tip. With relatively short legs, it stands out further due to its dental arrangement; boasting more teeth than the majority of placental mammals, with a count ranging from 46 to 50.

Fascinating Facts

  1. Equipped with exceptionally sharp teeth, the bat-eared fox efficiently chews its meals, facilitating digestion with remarkable speed.
  2. Relying heavily on their diet, bat-eared foxes rarely find the need to drink water, as they derive the majority of their required moisture from the food they consume.
  3. Unlike their counterparts in the canid family, male bat-eared foxes take on the primary responsibilities of parental care, while females focus on foraging to sustain milk production for their offspring.
  4. From the perspective of farmers, bat-eared foxes serve as invaluable allies in controlling harvester termite populations, regarded as pests that threaten agricultural yields.

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