Interesting facts about Arctic foxes

Posted on Mar 11, 2022      108

Clad in a warm coat, the Arctic fox is an animal cunning, intelligent and hardy. Unfortunately, the beauty of its fur made it an enviable prey for hunters and poachers, so this predator is ruthlessly exterminated, despite all the prohibitions. However, because of the tightening of environmental legislation, the situation has somewhat improved. The fox population has more or less stabilized, and if we continue to act in the same direction, the threat to the existence of this species will cease to exist.

Facts about the Arctic Fox

  • One of his interesting features is the change of fur color at different times of the year. In winter, the fox’s fur is white in order not to stand out on the snow, and in summer it is dark.
  • Arctic foxes molt twice a year, in spring and fall, and in both cases molting lasts up to 4 months. Thus, foxes are hunted only during the remaining 4 months, as during the molt, his coat is not an enviable prey.
  • Externally, an Arctic fox resembles a face. However, the second name of this predator and is “Arctic fox”.
  • Arctic foxes live only in the Northern Hemisphere. They are common in Russia, Canada, the United States and the countries of Northern Europe.
  • They always arrange their dens at a distance of only 500 meters from the nearest body of water.
  • Arctic Foxes rarely change dens and sometimes live their entire lives in the same dwelling.
  • Often their dens are “inherited” and tens, if not hundreds of generations, can live in the same system of dens. Some fox dens have been over 1000 years old.

  • Arctic foxes are not too picky in their menu. Their diet includes about 25 different plants and about 125 different species of animals.
  • Among these animals, there are cases of cannibalism. Thus, an Arctic fox can easily eat a defenseless companion caught in a hunting trap.
  • Often they accompany polar bears at a respectful distance in order to eat the remains of their meal when this giant predator is full.
  • Of all predatory mammals on Earth, it is Arctic foxes that produce the largest number of cubs in a single litter. Females usually give birth to 7 to 12 pups.
  • In Europe and Asia, there are special fox farms, where these animals are bred in semi-free conditions for their valuable fur.
  • Initially, foxes were attributed to the genus of wolves, but then it was assigned them to foxes.
  • Indirectly, global warming also negatively affects the number of their population. Because the cold frontier is retreating to the north, common foxes in search of food entered areas previously unvisited by them, and gradually oust foxes from there, as these animals are competing for the same food.
  • Besides thick fur, Arctic foxes are helped to stay warm by their unique body structure, the area of which is exceptionally small relative to its volume.
  • Pregnant female foxes do not hunt. The prey is brought to them by the male.
  • Sometimes foxes migrate 2,000-4,000 kilometers in search of food, but during such seasonal migrations many of them die.
  • The basis of the meat diet of Arctic foxes is a variety of small rodents.
  • They cannot boast of the same sharp eyesight as many other four-legged predators, but excellent hearing and keen sense of smell help them easily detect prey. An Arctic fox can even hear a mouse crawling on the ground under a half-meter layer of snow.
  • The lemming population has a direct impact on the fox population, as lemmings make up a large part of this arctic fox’s diet.

  • The Arctic fox is the only land mammal living in the wild in Iceland.
  • Arctic fox pups usually leave their parents when they reach the age of 4-5 months, but they return to them the next year to help raise the next offspring.
  • If adults who have pups die, the latter are usually adopted by other Arctic foxes.
  • In times of hunger, foxes do not disdain even carrion.
  • They have heterochromia, a phenomenon meaning eyes of different colors, more often than other mammals. For example, one eye may be brown and the other blue.
  • In the underground burrows of these animals, especially old and inhabited hundreds of years ago, there may be several hundred entrances and exits, as well as 500-1000 separate rooms.
  • The fox’s body responds to the environment in which this predator lives, so that it is easier for it to camouflage itself. For example, if the snow where a particular individual lives is not quite white, but slightly gray, then the fox’s fur will take on the same grayish hue.
  • There are more Arctic foxes living in Russia than in any other country in the world.
  • Arctic foxes are among the most frost-resistant animals in the world. They can tolerate frosts down to -70 degrees Celsius with no harm to themselves.
  • Although most Arctic foxes are monogamous, pairs get together only during the warm season, as in winter it is easier for them to feed alone.

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