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Arctic Fox Quick Facts
- The scientific name for the Arctic fox is Vulpes lagopus. Vulpes is the word for "fox" in Latin whereas lagopus is derived from the two Greek words lagos (hare or hair) and pous (foot) referring to the fur on these animal's feet.
- The Arctic fox also goes by the name white fox, snow fox, and polar fox.
- The Arctic fox's habitat is the most northerly regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. It is mostly found on the arctic tundra and pack ice and has even been seen close to the North Pole.
- The Arctic Fox is not a picky eater; its diet consist of small animals, including its favorite lemmings, it also eats eggs, birds, fish, and berries. This mammal will also eat the remains of animals killed by large predators like wolves.
Arctic Fox Appearance Facts
- The average length, not including the tail, of a male Arctic fox is 22 inches (55 centimeters), with females, in some regions, being slightly smaller. The tail of both males and females is approximately 12 inches (30 centimeters) long.
- These mammal's height measured at the shoulder is generally between 9.8 and 11.8 inches (25 to 30 centimeters).
- The average weight of the male Arctic Fox is 7.7 pounds (3.5 kilograms); females weigh slightly less.
- The Arctic Fox is shielded from the cold by a thick fur coat. For most populations of these foxes the coat is white in winter but turns brown in the warmer months; however a few have a bluish-gray coat in the colder months and a paler bluish-gray coat in the warmer months.
- Many populations of this animal have fur on the bottoms of their feet to protect them from the cold.
Interesting Arctic Fox Facts
- This animal has amazing hearing which helps it hunt.
- Like many arctic animals the Arctic Fox has a lot of body fat which helps keep it warm.
- The Arctic fox's body uses counter current heat exchange to lessen heat lost. Warm blood from the heart flows past cool blood from the body surface heating this blood. This helps retain heat within the body.
- The Arctic Fox is not an endangered animal, there are believed to be several hundred thousand worldwide. Due to hunting, it is endangered in certain regions like Scandinavian where there are only a few hundred left.
- In many areas of the world the Arctic fox's numbers are being decreased due to an increase in the population of the larger red fox. In regions where their habitats overlap Red Foxes kill Arctic foxes. Red Fox populations have been increasing in these regions due to its main predator the gray wolf being driven to near extinction by hunting.
- Carl Linnaeus, known as the father of modern taxonomy, documented this animal in his famous Systema Naturae in 1758.