Animals of the world, Arctic fox

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  • Arctic fox, also called white fox or polar fox, the northern fox of the family Canidae, found throughout the Arctic region.
  • As an adaptation to the climate, Arctic foxes have short, rounded ears, a short muzzle, and fur-covered soles
  • The average head-and-body length of the male is 55 cm (22 in), with a range of 46 to 68 cm (18 to 27 in). The height at the shoulder is 25 to 30 cm (9.8 to 11.8 in)
  • The Arctic fox lives in some of the most frigid extremes on the planet, but they do not start to shiver until the temperature drops to −70 °C (−94 °F).
  • They moult twice each year. The winter fur is thick with dense under-fur and long guard hairs. The Arctic fox appears in two distinct colour morphs, white and blue. The white morph is uniformly white in winter, except for some few black hairs on the tip of the tail, and brown-grey on the back/thighs and yellowish-white on the belly and the sides in summer. The blue morph remains dark charcoal coloured all year round, but becomes somewhat lighter in winter.
  • It feeds on whatever animal or vegetable material is available including lemming, hares, birds, eggs, fish, and carrion. Sometimes they follow polar bears to feed on the remains of their kills.  In the winter the Arctic fox hunts birds and even reindeer, in addition to rodents. When food is overabundant, the Arctic fox buries the surplus as a reserve.
  • Although the Arctic fox is active year-round and do not hibernate, they attempt to preserve fat by reducing their locomotor activity. They build up their fat reserves in the autumn, sometimes increasing their body weight by more than 50%. This provides greater insulation during the winter and a source of energy when food is scarce
  • On average, Arctic foxes only live 3–4 years in the wild

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