Today has been exhausting, but now is not the time for tiredness. Now is the time for interesting canids.
Rueppell's Fox (Vulpes rueppellii), also called the Sand Fox, can be found in the Middle East and North Africa. It's better to refer to it as Rueppell's Fox, since the Corsac Fox and Tibetan Sand Fox are commonly called the Sand Fox as well. Rueppell's Fox ranges from Morocco and the Sahel region to southwest Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Rueppell's Foxes can grow up to 20 inches (52 cm) in body length, and weigh just less than 4 pounds (1.7 Kg). Their paws are protected by fur on the bottom of their feet, which helps to distribute their weight on loose sand as well as protect them from the heat. Like the Fennec Fox, the large ears of Rueppell's Fox help to cool its body. It is an omnivorous forager, eating almost everything it could possibly construe as food. Most of its diet is insects, but includes tubers and small mammals.
There are currently five recognized subspecies of Rueppell's Fox:
- Vulpes rueppellii rueppellii
- Vulpes rueppellii caesia
- Vulpes rueppellii cyrenaica
- Vulpes rueppellii sabaea
- Vulpes rueppellii zarudneyi
Rueppell's Fox has scent glands that it uses to mark territory, but they also spray would-be predators to deter them, like skunks do. The scent glands are also used to communicate with each other during greetings, and the female Rueppell's Fox will mark her birthing den when preparing to give birth. After a 53-day gestation period, she'll have one to three kits. After the kits are weaned, they'll travel with her and their father in a family group.