Meet the bat-eared fox, a little canid that roams the plains of Africa

It's neither a fennec, nor a fox, but a little-known canid with huge ears. Meet the bat-eared fox.

This is the bat-eared fox

This is a little-known canid that roams the plains and savannas of Africa. It looks like a crossbreed between a fox and a fennec, but it’s a different species. They are found in two different areas of the continent. There, this small animal measuring between 46 and 66 cm long leads the life of a burrower, digging a network of tunnels in which a monogamous breeding pair takes shelter with its babies. A couple’s territory usually spans over 0,25 to 1,5 km2. Its diet: mainly insects and arthropods. Termites and dung beetles can make up 80% of its diet, and it depends on these insects for its water supply. It also uses its large ears, measuring between 11 and 13 cm long, to detect the presence of these insects around him.

Another notable feature: of all the canids, it has the most teeth. This is a consequence of its insectivore diet, which has made his teeth smaller and more numerous: between 46 and 60. Marginally hunted by some local people for its fur, it’s not considered endangered and its population is stable.


03/08/2020 7:31 AM


  • Erin W.
    07/13/2020 09:21

    Otocyon megalotis (Fig. 1) and the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) have black facial masks, but mask of N. procyonoides surrounds eyes and goes back to ears, whereas facial mask of O. megalotis is less extreme. O. megalotis lacks the dispersed white band beneath each eye that stretches back to ears in N. procyonoides (Ward and Wurster-Hill 1990). O. megalotis can be distinguished from Rüppell's fox (Vulpes rueppelli) in that V. rueppelli has reddish-gray agouti pelage with dark guard hairs on tail and a dark patch between nose and eyes (Larivière and Seddon 2001). O. megalotis has large ears, but the fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) has larger ears relative to body size; pelage of O. megalotis lacks the off-white underparts of V. zerda (Larivière 2002). O. megalotis has much larger ears than those of the pale fox (Vulpes pallida) and lacks the dark, black-tipped tail and pinkish beige underparts of V. pallida. O. megalotis lacks the gray ears, dark-tipped tail, and blotchy black, brownish-gray, and white pelage of Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana); mask of O. megalotis is larger than that of V. cana (Geffen 1994).

  • Kari B.
    06/20/2020 22:22

  • Flora R.
    06/13/2020 08:22


  • Angie C.
    06/11/2020 23:48

    it’s Sofia

  • David O.
    06/11/2020 19:01

    You said it’s not a fox, then you said it’s a bat-eared fox. What is it?

  • Carol M.
    06/11/2020 13:14

    Who’s da fox? Yoda Fox!

  • Isabelle S.
    06/11/2020 12:56

    le tonton du bled de Zizis

  • Sam R.
    06/11/2020 12:27

    it's a chihuahua with big ears