The Arctic fox is well adapted to live in the cold Arctic. In winter its thick, bushy coat turns white. This makes it very hard to see the fox. The prey is not able to spot the Arctic fox until it is too late.
Because of its thick coat, it is able to survive in freezing cold temperatures. Thick hair on the pads of their feet protect their feet from freezing and help them to walk on the ice. The Arctic fox can walk on ice without slipping. It uses ice floes to travel in search of food in the winter.
It can curl up in the snow and cover its nose and face with its bushy tail to keep warm. In the summer the fox will hide food in its den or under rocks. This is how it stores food for later use.
The Arctic fox is small (about the same weight as a cat) with short legs and short rounded furry ears. The bushy tail is about 30 cm. long. Its bushy fur coat makes it look much larger than it really is. Near the end of summer the grayish brown coat of the Arctic fox begins to grow thicker. The color of the fur turns gray and then white. The oily fur sheds water and helps to keep the fox dry. More..
Physical Features of the Arctic Fox
Height: Height at shoulder 10-12 in. (25-30 cm.)
Weight: They weigh from 6 to 10 pounds.
Color: Normally white in winter and brownish grey in summer.
The arctic fox has the warmest fur of any mamma, even warmer than the polar bear and arctic wolf.
Mating occurs in early March and early April. Gestation lasts 52 days. Litters average seven pups but may contain as many as 15 pups.
Northern and western Alaska and Canada Northern Canada south to northern Northwest Territories, northeast Alberta, northern Manitoba, northern Quebec, Russia, and Greenland; a few records indicate presence farther south.
Arctic fox feed primarily on small mammals, including lemmings and tundra voles. Fox denning near rocky cliffs along the seacoast often depend heavily on nesting seabirds such as auklets, puffins, and murres.
Can arctic fox be different colors?
Arctic fox can be either gray-blue or white. The blue coloration is not as common as the white. Young of each color may occur in the same litter. More..