Winners Photography Awards 2009
Desert Fox by Nikhil Devasar
This desert fox Vulpes vulpes pusilla, photographed in the Greater Rann of Kutchh is supremely adapted to life in the oven-like heat of India's deserts. Most desert animals choose to live inconspicuous lives, hidden away from the searing sun, underground, or in the shade of what little vegetation they can find. Their ability to survive on almost any kind of food – invertebrates, rodents, birds, dead animals, berries, fruits, vegetables and even rotting kitchen waste if they live near human habitation – is key to their success. In the absence of water, the desert fox can actually survive on moisture derived from food - an adaptation suited to a life in extremely arid environments. The large ears help them to locate prey and serve as radiators to dissipate heat.