How The World’s Smallest Wild Dog Survives Without Water

Have you ever wondered what the world’s smallest wild dog is?

If you have, wonder no longer. That dog is known as the fennec fox, and it’s quite unique because it doesn’t need water to survive.

Photo: Flickr/Drew Avery License: CC BY 2.0

Fennec foxes were recently featured on an episode in the three-part PBS Nature series Dogs In the Wild.

According to that episode, fennec foxes, which are found in the Sahara Desert, are known to be the smallest wild canine in the world.

Photo: YouTube/Nature on PBS

According to Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, fennec foxes are just 14 to 16 inches long and weigh between 2 and 3 pounds.

The fennec fox is made for the desert, with massive ears and sand-colored fur. But what’s even more impressive is their ability to go an indefinite amount of time without drinking water. If there’s one thing that’s well-known about the Sahara Desert, it’s the fact that water is scare. Needing little-to-no water is key to staying alive there.

Photo: Flickr/Soren Wolf License: CC BY-ND 2.0

In the episode, the narrator explains:

“Small bodies don’t need much, and by being omnivorous, fennecs can find enough to eat. Insects, berries, roots, every scrap is on the menu. There may be food, but there’s no water. Thankfully, her kidneys are so efficient, she’s the one dog that doesn’t need to drink. She can get all the water she needs from the food she eats, even the tiniest spider.”

The narrator went on to say that some people believe the tiny canine “evolved as the desert first appeared, 4 million years ago.”

Photo: YouTube/Nature on PBS

“No other canid can so completely endure the challenges here. So this smallest of wild dogs is not only built for this harsh desert, she’s the only one to have tamed it,” they added.

If you’d like to learn more, be sure to check out the video below:

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