The bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) is an African subspecies of fox. Like many other foxes it has also large ears. The fox first arrived around 800,000 years ago. It is also called big-eared fox, cape fox, black-eared fox, and Delalande’s fox.
Bat Eared Fox Facts for Kids
Adult foxes measure 55 cm in head-body length. They have 13-cm-long ears. Bat-eared fox weighs as much as 7 – 12 pounds.
Bat eared foxes are found in southern Sudan, Tanzania, South Africa, Angola, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Somalia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Ethiopia.
The bat-eared fox prefers to make habitats in open areas such as savannas, grasslands, short grass, shrublands, and arid lands.
During winter the fox becomes active in the daylight hours however in summer it forages at night.
Bat-eared foxes are insectivores. They will eat beetles, millipedes, grasshoppers, crickets, scorpions, small mammals, lizards, eggs, fruits, moths, reptiles, spiders, and fungi. Bat-eared foxes love to feed on termites which make up 80% of their diet. Study suggests that a single bat-eared fox consumes as much as 1.15 million termites a year.
They have sharp claws which they use for digging dens. The fox’s dens has numerous chambers, tunnels, and entrances.
Foxes forage in groups. Each group consists of only 3 – 15 individuals. They are highly social animals.
The female produces 1 to 6 kits after a gestation period of 60 – 70 days. The breeding season occurs in September to November.
Bat-eared foxes have sharp hearing sense. Their sight and sense of smell are not just as good.
The fox has a home range of 0.3 to 3.5 km2.
Bat eared fox has a lifespan of 13 years in the wild.
The IUCN has listed bat-eared fox as Least Concern.