In detail

The polar fox - Wanted poster


Characteristics

Surname: Polar fox
Other names: Ice fox, snow, white fox
Latin name: Vulpes lagobus
class: Mammals
size: 60 - 90 cm
mass: 4 - 5 kg
Older: 3 - 5 years
Appearance: snow-white winter fur, brown summer fur
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Omnivore (omnivor)
food: Carrion, berries, insects, lemmings, ptarmigan, bird eggs
distribution: Alaska, North America, Greenland, Scandinavia, Russia
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: daylight and dusk active
habitat: Tundra, snow desert
natural enemies: Polar bear, polar wolf
sexual maturity: towards the end of the first year of life
mating season: March April
gestation: 50 - 55 days
litter size: 5 - 12 cubs
social behavior: Family network
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the polar fox

  • The arctic fox, also called Eisfuchs or Vulpes lagobus, describes a predator species within the canine, which is native to the polar regions of northern Europe, North America, Russia, Greenland and Iceland.
  • It mainly inhabits the tundra, but is also found on the pack ice of the Arctic. When looking for food, the arctic fox can travel long distances as part of extended hikes and also colonize forests in colder temperate zones.
  • In contrast to its close relative, the red fox, the skull and muzzle of the polar fox are squat in shape. The muzzle is remarkably short, the ears are very small in comparison to other fox species. Apart from that his physique resembles that of all other foxes.
  • The polar fox reaches a total body length of maximum ninety centimeters and has a long and very bushy tail.
  • Adult males weigh around five kilograms. The females are only slightly smaller and lighter than the males.
  • As the only representative of canines, the polar fox changes its coat color depending on the seasons. In winter, polar foxes are either snow white or greyish colored. Depending on the color of the winter coat, a distinction is made between the white fox and the blue fox.
  • The summer coat, which is much shorter than that of the winter coat, has a brownish tint on the back and a beige tint on the belly, with which the arctic fox is well camouflaged in the overgrown tundra.
  • The arctic fox has an excellent sense of smell, which allows it to detect prey or carrion over long distances and thick ice.
  • In addition to carrion, its food consists of lemmings, mice, hares, ground squirrels and various birds and their eggs. Polar foxes living on the coasts feed on fish, crustaceans and carcasses of various sea-dwelling animals being washed ashore.
  • Arctic foxes form lifelong monogamous couples and defend their territory together. They populate self-dug earth caves in ice-free areas where the young are reared.
  • After mating at the beginning of April and a gestation period of about two months, the cows produce up to twelve juveniles per litter depending on the food supply. These are nursed by the cattle for several months and then fed and protected by both parents before being rejected the following year.
  • The life expectancy of the polar fox is four years.
  • Polar foxes occasionally fall prey to polar wolves or polar bears.