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Arctic Fox

Arctic Fox Facts

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCarnivora
FamilyCanidae
GenusAlopex
Scientific NameAlopex Lagopus
TypeMammal
DietCarnivore
Size (L)70cm - 110cm (28in - 43in)
Weight1.4kg - 9.4kg (3lbs - 21lbs)
Top Speed45km/h (30mph)
Life Span7 - 10 years
LifestyleSolitary
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
ColourWhite, Black, Grey
Skin TypeFur
Favourite FoodLemmings
HabitatPolar forest regions
Average Litter Size5
Main PreyLemmings, Berries, Insects
PredatorsSnowy Owl, Wolf, Polar Bear
Distinctive FeaturesThick fur that changes colour with season

Arctic Fox Location

Map of Arctic Fox Locations

Arctic Fox

The Arctic Fox is a small white fox native to the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The Arctic fox is commonly found in the colder parts of Canada, Alaska, Northern Asia and Europe. The Arctic fox is also commonly known as the Snow fox or the White fox due to the fact that the Arctic fox has white fur and spends a great deal of time in the cold snow.

The Arctic fox has extremely thick winter fur, which is apparently the warmest fur of all the mammals. The thick fur of the Arctic fox is definitely an essential for the Arctic fox to continue dwelling successfully in the harsh Arctic terrain where temperatures regularly fall below minus 40 degrees Celsius.

The Arctic fox tends to prey on lemmings, hares, reptiles, amphibians and occasionally vulnerable seal pups that are not close to their herd. The Arctic fox makes its den far under the surface of the ground, and can amazingly withstand temperatures of up to minus 50 degrees Celsius.

As with many animals that inhabit the Arctic regions, the fur of the Arctic fox changes colour to adapt to its surroundings accordingly. In the winter, the Arctic fox has thick, white fur which allows the Arctic fox to remain warm and camouflaged in its snowy surroundings. In the summer months, the fur of the Arctic fox changes to a brown colour as there the snow will have melted. This newly coloured brown fur of the Arctic fox, allows the Arctic fox to remain as inconspicuous as possible whilst there is no snow in the Arctic during the summer months.

As one of the larger carnivores in the Arctic Circle, the Arctic fox has few natural predators within its freezing environment. Polar bears, wolf packs and humans are only real predators of the adult Arctic fox, along with large birds of prey such as snowy owls, that primarily prey on the smaller and more vulnerable Arctic fox cubs.

The female Arctic fox gives birth to and raises her cubs in the safety of her den, which is a network of tunnels often underground. After a gestation period of a couple of months, the female Arctic fox gives birth to up to 15 cubs which are born at the start of summer and after being nursed by their mother, are fairly independent by the time the Arctic winter starts again.