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Favorite Images of Bat-Eared Foxes

Animals list created by kathy Avatar

A list of my favorite images of bat-eared foxes.


The bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) is a species of fox found on the African savanna, named for its large ears, which are used for thermoregulation.

Fossil records show this canid first appeared during the middle Pleistocene, about 800,000 years ago. It is considered a basal canid species, resembling ancestral forms of the family.

The bat-eared fox (also referred to as big-eared fox, black-eared fox, cape fox and Delalande’s fox) has tawny fur with black ears, legs and parts of the pointed face.

It averages 55 centimetres (22 in) in length (head and body), with ears 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long. It is the only species in the genus Otocyon.

The name Otocyon is derived from the Greek words otus for ear and cyon for dog, while the specific name megalotis comes from the Greek words mega for large and otus for ear.

Two allopatric populations (subspecies) occur in Africa. O. m. virgatus occurs from Ethiopia and southern Sudan to Tanzania.

The other population, O. m. megalotis, occurs in the southern part of Africa. It ranges from southern Zambia and Angola to South Africa and extends as far east as Mozambique and Zimbabwe, spreading into the Cape Peninsula and toward Cape Agulhas.

Home ranges vary in size from 0.3 to 3.5 km2.

The bat-eared fox commonly occurs in short grasslands, as well as the more arid regions of the savanna. It prefers bare ground and areas where grass is kept short by grazing ungulates. It tends to hunt in these short grass and low shrub habitats.

However, it does venture into areas with tall grasses and thick shrubs to hide when threatened.

In addition to raising their young in dens, bat-eared foxes use self-dug dens for shelter from extreme temperatures and winds. They also lie under acacia trees in South Africa to seek shade during the day.

The bat-eared fox is predominantly an insectivore that uses its large ears to locate its prey.

About 80–90% of their diet is harvester termites (Hodotermes mossambicus). When this particular species of termite is not available, they feed on other species of termites and have also been observed consuming other arthropods such as ants, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, millipedes, moths, scorpions, spiders and rarely birds, small mammals, reptiles and fungi (the desert truffle Kalaharituber pfeilii).

The insects they eat fulfill the majority of their water intake needs. The bat-eared fox refuses to feed on snouted harvester termites, likely because it is not adapted to tolerate termites’ chemical defense.

The bat-eared fox has some commercial use for humans. They are important for harvester termite population control, as the termites are considered pests. They have also been hunted for their fur by Botswana natives.

Additional threats to populations include disease and drought that can harm populations of prey; however, no major threats to bat-eared fox populations exist.

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Animals - B (39 lists)
list by kathy
Published 6 years, 2 months ago

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