Photos: San Diego's Big-Eared Baby Fox Causes Extreme Cute Aggression
Look at how cute this Fennec Fox kit is!
San Diego Zoo posted five photos of this little baby Fennec Fox on #whatitiswednesday, which is apparently when they post photos of an exotic animal and challenge readers to guess what it is. Anyone who spends their days trolling ZooBorns and working themselves up over adorable creatures knows that the Fennec Fox is right up there with the Red Panda and the Dik Dik.
Cute aggression is a real thing, and this creature is a prime candidate for causing it. According to researchers Oriana Aragon and Rebecca Dyer, there is a correlation between cute animals and the desire to squeeze them, Huffington Post reports. They say some people express feelings of helplessness when exposed to cute stimuli—as in something is so cute, they can't control themselves.
The Fennec Fox is the smallest fox in the world, and it's native to the Sahara in North Africa. It's big ears serve to cool the desert animal off, but are also very sensitive, National Geographic reports. It is an omnivore and primarily nocturnal. Whether or not it's actually a fox is up for debate. They don't always act like foxes—they're highly social, whereas foxes are traditionally loners. The Fennec Fox mates for life and in captivity, has a lifespan of 14 years.