Standing at just over one foot tall, the arctic fox is a small mammal. They may be small in size, but they have got excellent survival skills. It is a remarkably bold animal, and it has adapted well to the Arctic Tundra, a home where Arctic foxes live. Arctic foxes can be found in Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland, Iceland, and many other Arctic regions.
Arctic Fox Facts
This mammal has many surprising facts and figures from their adaptations to lifestyle. People frequently wonder how something so small persists in the sub-zero temperatures, but arctic foxes have adapted to their environment surprisingly well.
Let us learn more fascinating facts about arctic fox.
1. Arctic foxes don’t hibernate
Unlike some of the other mammals that live in cold environments, the arctic fox doesn’t hibernate in the winter. Arctic foxes are active throughout the year. Extreme weather conditions and an environment with limited food resources don’t stop these hardy little animals.
2. Arctic fox adapts well in a cold environment
The Arctic Tundra temperatures average -18 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 37 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. It’s no surprise that the Arctic fox has several adaptations for living and functioning in freezing weather. The adaptation to the surrounding can be considered as one of the major facts about arctic fox.
The arctic fox has a dense, multilayered fur coat that provides excellent insulation against the cold. The Arctic fox has fur present on the paws, which lessens heat loss and permits them to walk better on ice. This is one of the astounding facts about the arctic fox being the only mammal to survive in such drastic climate conditions.
3. Arctic Fox’s Tail
Arctic fox’s thick tails are around 13 inches long and are used mostly to aid balance, as they can be used as a shelter against the cold.
These facts about arctic fox are unique and surprising. The arctic fox’s fur varies in color depending on the environment and time of the year. In summer, individuals who inhabit snow-covered areas are white, while those who live on rocky shores are brown. The fur is shed in spring to reveal grey fur beneath.
5. Arctic Fox Body Fat
Under its fur, the arctic fox has a lot of body fat, which keeps it insulated in the cold. In the autumn, the arctic foxes increase their fat reserves to provide energy and insulation through the winter.
6. Excellent Hearing
The arctic fox has excellent hearing, which comes in handy when locating small animals under the snow. The Arctic fox can easily hear lemmings burrowing under 4-5 inches of snow.
7. Arctic Foxes are omnivores
Arctic foxes are omnivores, even though their diet is made up of small mammals, including lemmings, voles, and rabbits. Lemmings are their top choice, to the degree that the Arctic fox populations can change depending on lemming numbers.
Moreover, their astute nature implies they are moreover known to take after polar bears and wolves around, rummaging their leftovers. When food is scarce in the summer months, they have been known to eat berries and store food in their lairs to keep for afterward. These facts about arctic fox show how important is lemming’s population.
8. Arctic Family
Arctic foxes mate for life, and parents stay together during the breeding session. The mother gives birth to around 5-8 pups. Both parents are involved in looking after their young.
Male and female both look after their young ones. They raise their pups in the dense underground burrows, often a network of tunnels covering an area – the football field’s size.
9. Body Structure
Arctic foxes grow to an average of three feet long plus an additional 12 inches for their tail at their shoulder. They stand an average of 11 inches tall and weigh around four kilograms. The Arctic fox has small ears, muzzle, and short legs, which are all essential adaptations to survive the arctic region’s coldest climate. Looking at these facts about arctic fox it seems unreal for them to survive in such climatic conditions.
10. Arctic fox can save up their energy
When food is not available, the arctic fox can reduce its metabolic rate by half. Thereby conserving energy and allowing more time to find food before starvation occurs. Their ability to save energy is one of the amazing facts about arctic fox you may have neglected.
11. Arctic Fox Predators
Arctic foxes’ main predators are polar bears, wolves, wolverines, brown bears, red foxes, and humans. Fast golden eagles, bald eagles, and snowy owls that swoop down and snatch baby foxes are also their predators.
However, due to climate change, the temperatures of the arctic region are changing. The arctic becomes less cold sometimes, which becomes a pleasant temperature for bigger red foxes, who are also predators of arctic foxes.
Indigenous Arctic peoples still preserve the right to hunt arctic foxes for aid, but profitable hunting of the species is now banned. These are the threats of the arctic fox that affect their population.
Arctic foxes don’t live long. In the wild, three to six years old are hunted by the predators, but in captivity, they ordinarily only make it to ten or eleven.
13. Scientific Name
According to The Science Views, The Arctic Fox also has Greek and Latin names. The Greek name Alopex lagopus means “fox,” while the Latin name Vulpes Lagopus means “hair on feet,” Referring to the hair found on its paw pads.(Last Updated On: April 12, 2021)