Image: Charles Barilleaux
Small, cute and furry, these baby animals are the complete opposite of the harsh environments in which they were born. With their extreme temperatures and arid climates, deserts are not easy places to bring up babies – as you can probably imagine! But these are not just any babies: they all belong to species that have adapted to the challenging desert habitat.
Image: Tambako the Jaguar
10. Fennec Fox
Take a look at this adorable little one. This is a baby fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) of the Sahara Desert, a small example of the smallest canid in the world. No doubt you’ve noticed its enormous pair of ears. Fennec foxes have amazingly good hearing and can even detect prey underground, but this is just one of their adaptations to the desert environment. Others include kidneys that have adapted to cut down on water loss, and thick fur, which reflects the sun’s heat during the day and keeps them warm at night.
Fennecs mate for life, and the babies are either born alone or with up to three siblings. Fennec families live in dens under the sand, sometimes with interconnected tunnels to other fennec dens. Not much is known about their behavior in the wild, but in captivity they are very social animals that like to sleep snuggled up with each other. Considering how cute they are, it’s no wonder some people keep them as exotic pets. Sadly for them, they are also sometimes hunted for their coats.