The most toothy animal in the world. 5 interesting facts about the big-eared fox (10 photos)

Category: Animals, PEGI 0+
22 May 2024

It looks like a mixture of a wolf and a hare, assembled in Photoshop. In fact, this is a real animal - a big-eared fox.

The ears grow up to 13 cm in length - disproportionately large. However, for desert animals, large ears are the norm. After all, they are the ones who allow you to smell prey, even if it is buried in the sand. A similar strategy is used by another fox, the fennec fox.

Fennec fox. Big-eared fox's cousin

The second reason for large ears is thermoregulation. Like a dog's tongue. Allows you not to overheat in hot desert conditions.

The diet of the bat-eared fox is very specific - it loves insects, mainly termites. Traditional snacks for foxes - hamsters, gophers, lizards, birds, etc. - account for no more than 10% of the diet. This is the only insectivorous animal of the canine family in nature. Dogs, as you know, prefer to devour meat and sniff at bugs.

Their hearing is so acute that they can hear the movements of insects underground, making them extremely effective hunters.

The bat-eared fox has benefited from human spread, a rarity in the wildlife world. The fact is that when people cultivate an area (for example, create pastures for livestock), an ideal environment for the reproduction of insects is created here. And this, as we remember, is their favorite delicacy.

Storm of all South African flies and beetles!

This is the most toothy animal on the planet. The bat-eared fox has 48 teeth, the maximum for placental mammals.

Why she has so many teeth remains a mystery. You don't need to be such a toothy animal to eat insects. For example, the anteater - also a lover of insects - does without teeth at all. And the powerful muscles of the stomach help him chew food.

An anteater doesn't need teeth

Biologists believe that the teeth of the big-eared fox are still very useful. Its evolution just took a different path, unlike the anteater.

The fact is that insects usually gather in large groups. And when you start eating, the rule works: the faster you chew, the more you can swallow. Foxes eat more than 1 million termites a year.

Their teeth are less sharp than those of other predators, but are more suitable for crushing the exoskeletons of insects.

The society of bat-eared foxes is also not entirely traditional for predators. They prefer to live in established triads - one male and two females.

Add your comment
  • bowtiesmilelaughingblushsmileyrelaxedsmirk

You might be interested in: