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Mar 11 2013

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Uh-oh, she’s going for cute

I hope this feature doesn’t turn into Cute Overload…but how can I resist the fennec?

fennec-fox-baby

36 comments

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  1. 1
    Lofty

    And they look even more wistful when being handled by the vets at our local zoo.
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/theyre-testing-times-for-mum/story-e6frea83-1226594253325

  2. 2
    ck

    The fennec fox already picked up the alien signals SETI is trying to discover, but isn’t telling.

  3. 3
    loopyj

    No one can resist the fennec! Resistance is futile!

    I, for one, welcome our new fennec overlords and would like to scritch them behind the ears.

  4. 4
    Matrim

    Some of my favorite animals. The foxes at our zoo operate in shifts; one is always running around like a freak, one is always sleeping, and one is always barking and scrabbling at the glass. It’s not always the same fox every time, though.

  5. 5
    chrislawson

    Remember, when drying a fennec on the clothesline, not to peg it on its ears…

  6. 6
    abbeycadabra

    Yay, fox! My icon is relevant!

  7. 7
    azpaul3

    I assume the tentacles are below the frame.

  8. 8
    Ichthyic

    *oof*

    too much cute.

    knocked the wind out of me.

  9. 9
    unclefrogy

    like kittens carnivores especially the young are seldom shown with their mouths open or in the middle of eating or killing their food if they even bother all the time with killing it before they start devouring it. No blood or squirming death throughs, or teeth in or claws in flesh.
    They are beautiful and of such keen awareness, so focused

    uncle frogy

  10. 10
    Gregory Greenwood

    I am now suffering from severe cuteness overload. I blame PZ (and Rebecca Watson), naturally.

  11. 11
    echidna

    From the moment I read “Mischief in Fez” by Eleanor Hoffman, I fell in love with fennecs. All hail our fennec overlords!

    Unclefrogy, as a very young kid I had a pet ferret that we would take rabbiting. I have never understood the squeamishness that everyone else seems to feel about carnivores eating.

  12. 12
    frankb

    This organism (with the cute little button nose) seems to place a great deal of importance in the detection of sound and locating the source of it.

  13. 13
    Ichthyic

    ^^ they actually can hear insects moving several centimeters below ground, and this is a primary food source.

  14. 14
    Ichthyic

    I note that fennecs are now becoming popular in the pet trade…

    makes me wonder if the source of fennecs for that trade is wild, or bred in captivity?

    look for fennecs ending up on the endangered list because of habitat destruction and the pet trade.

    *sigh*

    oh, speaking of adorable pets that shouldn’t be…

    baby liger!

    That adorable little guy will someday grow up to be the largest species of cat in the world, as ligers traditionally grow to around ten feet in length and over seven hundred pounds in weight. The largest in the world is named Hercules, and he weighs almost a thousand pounds!

    a one thousand pound predator with giant fangs and claws… hmm….

  15. 15
    Rob Grigjanis

    I have never understood the squeamishness that everyone else seems to feel about carnivores eating.

    I’m not generally squeamish, but the couple of times I’ve seen prey being eaten while still alive, or brought to cubs to play with, made me change the channel pretty quick. YMMV.

  16. 16
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Some squeamishness, some preference: Your prey animals are sometimes the favorite, rather than the predator.

  17. 17
    Ichthyic

    Your prey animals are sometimes the favorite, rather than the predator.

    yup. seen it in action, even in places where people should know better.

    Killer whale attacks shark, tosses it around for youngster to learn from playing with it… nobody has any issues.

    they see the same thing happen with a baby seal?

    now the killer whale is a villain, torturing the baby seal for pleasure.

    I’ve seen EXACTLY that scenario play out, and numerous similar ones, even in places like the comments section on Jerry Coyne’s blog.

    it’s very hard to get people to break out of the “charismatic fauna” trap.

  18. 18
    unclefrogy

    I’m not squeamish at all I have some turtles and they can hold their own against crocs and gaters in the eating brutally.
    Many of the more photogenically popular are very accomplished killers very few make the painless quick kill favored by people.
    They are still beautiful for all that I would hate to have any of them vanish but I am glad I am not on the menu . :-)
    uncle frogy

  19. 19
    bad Jim

    I found the photo rather eary.

  20. 20
    Nakkustoppeli

    Grandma, why do you have so big ears?

  21. 21
    Holms

    Cute enough to remind me of my old childhood chihuahua… happy days!

  22. 22
    luching

    I saw one of those in Pokemon.

  23. 23
    ambulocetacean

    Reminds me of the wonderful Animal Planet program Dogs 101, which says that chihuahuas could be descended from fennec foxes rather than, you know, other dogs.

    Gotta love that educational television!

  24. 24
    Mike

    The tragic part: It’s deaf.

  25. 25
    Ichthyic

    which says that chihuahuas could be descended from fennec foxes rather than, you know, other dogs.

    I’m curious what on earth they could have provided as actual evidence in support of that contention?

    last I checked, the genetics told a pretty damn clear story.

  26. 26
    ChasCPeterson

    Nice pair of pinnae on that fox!

  27. 27
    ambulocetacean

    Hi Ichthyic,

    They don’t provide any evidence, only assertion. This is Animal Planet, remember — they have shows about how dogs and cats can sense ghosts and demons…

  28. 28
    Owlmirror

    Well obviously Wise Ancient Egyptians sailed from Africa to Mexico and brought fennecs with them for the Mexicans to play with while teaching them how to build pyramids.

    I mean, come on!

    Pyramids=pyramids!

    Ears=ears!

    Do I need to draw a picture?

  29. 29
    Ichthyic

    Do I need to draw a picture?

    Yes. I demand you draw that picture!

    :)

  30. 30
    Ichthyic

    they have shows about how dogs and cats can sense ghosts and demons…

    lolwut???

  31. 31
    Ichthyic

    http://animal.discovery.com/pets/can-dogs-sense-the-supernatural.htm

    well, not as bad as I expected, but still…

    to lend credibility to “witnesses” saying that the dogs are seeing ghosts is pretty bad.

    and you say there is an actual broadcast series devoted to this subject?

    does News Corp own Animal Planet by chance?

  32. 32
    Owlmirror
    Do I need to draw a picture?

    Yes. I demand you draw that picture!

    *breaks out the restaurant paper placemat world map, and the big box of crayons*

    This may take a while…

  33. 33
    Ichthyic

    oh take your time. I just have to see this!

    :)

  34. 34
    ambulocetacean

    The series I was thinking of was called The Haunted.

    Folks who had moved into spooky houses and found their cats hissing at nothing or being startled for no apparent reason would tell the camera that when they later saw/felt the ghosts/demons themselves they realised that their pets had seen them first.

    Then the producers would get some local yokel ghost hunters in to stumble around with night-vision cameras, declare the place haunted and announce that Mr Fluffykins had been right all along.

    http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/the-haunted

    It’s pretty standard stuff for Animal Planet, Discovery, History and even Nat Geo these days.

    Murdoch half/majority-owns the Nat Geo channel (though not the magazine). Dunno who owns Discovery/Animal Planet.

  35. 35
    Ichthyic

    *sigh*

    With the BBC mired in corruption and controversy, the American science and history channels having adopted the ‘reality tv’ model, in 10 years, where will kids be able to view sane TV programming that is nature-oriented and actually educational?

    it’s sad. Evidently, the golden age of the nature documentary will retire along with David Attenborough.

  36. 36
    Owlmirror

    Stop the presses crayons!

    This theory (which is mine, which belongs to me) needs sexed up for prime-time auds.

    *thinks carefully*

    Atlantis, or Ancient Aliens?

    *thinks some more.*

    *nibbles on dark brown crayon, disappointed as always to find that it does not taste at all like chocolate*

    Atlantis AND Ancient Aliens! Yay!

    Back to work.

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