Bar-eared fox in Central Kalahari | J.Goetz

Bat-eared fox

Otocyon megalotis

Excellent diggers

Behavior and diet

Bat-eared foxes have large, wide ears, a short narrow mouth and long, jackal-like legs. This fox is easily recognizable by its large ears, which are 13 cm (5 inches) in length. The ears are full of blood vessels that shed heat and help keep the fox cool; they also give the animal a very good sense of hearing.  The bat-eared fox generally live in short-grass prairies and arid grasslands and are only found in Africa. Two populations are known, one from Ethiopia and southern Sudan to Tanzania; the other from southern Angola and Rhodesia to South Africa. Bat-eared foxes utilize lairs dug by themselves for protection from severe temperatures and winds. Unlike most mammals of the canid family, the bat-eared fox favors a diet of insects, with a penchant for termites and grasshoppers. After a gestation period of two months, the female gives birth to one to five cubs.

Did you know?

  • Feed mainly off invertebrates like termites, ants, grasshoppers and even scorpions.
  • Most of the water in their diet comes from their food. They do well in arid climates.
  • Bat-ear foxes have between 46 and 50 teeth!
  • They can reverse direction while running and not lose speed.
  • Bat-eared foxes are often found around large herbivores such as zebra and wildebeest, as termites also like the green grasses that these large ungulates feed on.