Your morning adorable: Fennec foxes at the Krakow Zoo
Fennecs are the world's smallest fox species -- with adults weighing only 2 or 3 pounds -- and are native to the North African desert. Their giant ears (generally about 6 inches long, often more than half the foxes' body length) are well-suited to desert life, helping to radiate body heat to keep the animals cool.
Fennecs have a number of other adaptations designed to help them live in the intense heat of the Sahara. Their feet are extra-furry, minimizing the amount of contact their paw pads have with the hot sand. They're nocturnal, spending the majority of the daylight hours nestled in underground burrows and emerging only during the coolest part of the day. And, as you might have guessed, the sandy color of their fur helps them blend in with the desert sand.
See another photo of these pups after the jump. (And if you're itching for still more fennec fox photos, check out these youngsters born a few months ago at Tokyo's Sunshine International Aquarium.)
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photos: Jacek Bednarczyk / European Pressphoto Agency