Arctic fox, also known as polar fox, snow fox or the white fox is a small animal that lives in Iceland and preys on small creatures such as seabirds, fish, voles, lemmings and ringed seal pups.
The Arctic fox is found in different areas of the northern hemisphere including Alaska, Canada, Norway, Scandinavia, Greenland, Scandinavia and Russia. Arctic Fox has adapted to living in freezing environments.
One of the adaptations of the Arctic fox is that it has a thick fur which is usually white in winter and brown in summer. The thick fur allows them to maintain a warm body temperature in cold seasons.
Foxes have a small rounded body with a length of about 46 to 68 cm (18 to 27 in) minimising the total surface area exposed to cold air. The Arctic fox also has fur on its paws making it easy for them to walk on ice or snow.
The staple food for the Arctic fox is Lemmings. Nonetheless, the foxes tend to eat various foods and even scavenge leftovers from predators. On most occasions, there are hundreds of thousands of arctic foxes, but that number often declines when there is a low availability of lemmings.
While the animals live in rocky and barren areas with little vegetation, they have incredible hearing that is aided by their front facing ears which enable them to locate their prey even when beneath the snow.
The Arctic foxes are known to form monogamous pairs during their breeding season. Arctic fox usually mates from September to May and have a gestation period of about 52 days. Artic Fox usually has five to nine pups and both the mother and father raise the pups.
The foxes do little hibernating and mostly remain active throughout the year. The foxes build up fat reserves during autumn when they may even increase their body weight by fifty percent. The fat reserves provide energy during periods of food scarcity and provide insulation during winter.
Photo – Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr