Hall, Science Period 5
January 16, 2015
Just So Science
Most animals can not survive in the desert, due to the constant drought periods and little to no water. So how would the fennec fox be able to survive in this type of climate? The fennec fox is the smallest of all of the world’’s foxes. The fox is a mammal and lives mainly in the Sahara desert, if not somewhere else in Northern Africa. They are nocturnal and have huge ears. Their diet is omnivore consisting of plants, rodents, eggs, reptiles, and insects. The fennec fox has the ability to live in the desert because of it’s kidneys. The kidneys of a fennec fox are adapted to retain water and prevent dehydration. Since there is little to no free water in the desert, the foxes will drink when they can get water, but when there is no water available they can survive long periods on only the moisture from what they eat and the dew that collects inside their burrows. So in the desert when it is mainly dry the foxes can manage to survive without a constant supply of water.
I imagine the fox looked very similar from the outside before it’s adaption. The fox probably lived shorter lives due to the shortage of water. They also had to search for water more frequently. Although their ability to conserve water is very impressive, there is still a high mortality rate for the fennec foxes. More than half will die before they are ten months old. The fennec foxes are structurally built with very similar kidneys. However, some can be led to kidney failure. So basically, some kidneys are more durable and can conserve more water. In the Sahara (where the foxes mainly live) there could have been more water available, but eventually the climate change led to shortage in water and they were forced to conserve their
water. The adaptation itself also helps organisms compete. All organisms need water to ...
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