Bat-eared Fox (Otocyon megalotis)
Great place to see bat-eared fox: Masai Mara, Kenya
Before talking about the bat-eared fox, here’s a small context: there are animals, which although associated with a renowned family, are so unique in appearance and behaviour, that they command an identity on their own right, uninfluenced by their close cousins. Male lions are one such that come to mind, who, with their extravagant manes unique to them in the cat family, have come to be iconic.
Bat-eared foxes, meanwhile, are much humbler and obscurer, but no shorter in fascination, with their trademark ware being their ears, as indicated by both their common and scientific names. They use these to control their body temperature and to locate prey, which, distinctly from other foxes, chiefly comprises insects, such as beetles, scorpions, grasshoppers, spiders and termites.
Although nocturnal and social, they’ve been seen by day and alone, resting on short grass until night descends and foraging can commence. And for its excellent listening skills, it is our Animal of the Week!