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Polarfox Compatiblity VideoEncounter a young wild white Arctic Fox in Greenland Leopard seal H. Gambian mongoose M. Family Eupleridae.
It also eats carrion , berries, seaweed, and insects and other small invertebrates. Arctic foxes form monogamous pairs during the breeding season and they stay together to raise their young in complex underground dens.
Occasionally, other family members may assist in raising their young. Natural predators of the Arctic fox are golden eagles ,  polar bears ,  wolverines , red foxes , wolves , and grizzly bears.
This position gives the fox the smallest surface area to volume ratio and protects the least insulated areas. Arctic foxes also stay warm by getting out of the wind and residing in their dens.
This provides greater insulation during the winter and a source of energy when food is scarce. In the spring, the Arctic fox's attention switches to reproduction and a home for their potential offspring.
They live in large dens in frost-free, slightly raised ground. These dens may be in existence for many decades and are used by many generations of foxes.
Arctic foxes tend to select dens that are easily accessible with many entrances, and that are clear from snow and ice making it easier to burrow in.
The Arctic fox builds and chooses dens that face southward towards the sun, which makes the den warmer.
Arctic foxes prefer large, maze-like dens for predator evasion and a quick escape especially when red foxes are in the area. Natal dens are typically found in rugged terrain, which may provide more protection for the pups.
But, the parents will also relocate litters to nearby dens to avoid predators. When red foxes are not in the region, Arctic foxes will use dens that the red fox previously occupied.
Shelter quality is more important to the Arctic fox than the proximity of spring prey to a den. Breeding usually takes place in April and May, and the gestation period is about 52 days.
Litters may contain as many as 25 the largest litter size in the order Carnivora. Arctic foxes are primarily monogamous and both parents will care for the offspring.
When predators and prey are abundant, Arctic foxes are more likely to be promiscuous exhibited in both males and females and display more complex social structures.
Larger packs of foxes consisting of breeding or non-breeding males or females can guard a single territory more proficiently to increase pup survival.
When resources are scarce, competition increases and the number of foxes in a territory decreases.
On the coasts of Svalbard , the frequency of complex social structures is larger than inland foxes that remain monogamous due to food availability.
In Scandinavia, there are more complex social structures compared to other populations due to the presence of the red fox.
Also, conservationists are supplying the declining population with supplemental food. One unique case, however, is Iceland where monogamy is the most prevalent.
The older offspring 1-year-olds often remain within their parent's territory even though predators are absent and there are fewer resources, which may indicate kin selection in the fox.
Arctic foxes generally eat any small animal they can find, including lemmings , voles , other rodents, hares , birds , eggs , fish, and carrion.
They scavenge on carcasses left by larger predators such as wolves and polar bears , and in times of scarcity also eat their feces. In areas where they are present, lemmings are their most common prey,  and a family of foxes can eat dozens of lemmings each day.
In some locations in northern Canada, a high seasonal abundance of migrating birds that breed in the area may provide an important food source.
On the coast of Iceland and other islands, their diet consists predominantly of birds. During April and May, the Arctic fox also preys on ringed seal pups when the young animals are confined to a snow den and are relatively helpless.
They also consume berries and seaweed, so they may be considered omnivores. Arctic foxes survive harsh winters and food scarcity by either hoarding food or storing body fat.
Fat is deposited subcutaneously and viscerally in Arctic foxes. At the beginning of winter, the foxes have approximately kJ of energy storage from fat alone.
Using the lowest BMR value measured in Arctic foxes, an average sized fox 3. Arctic foxes can acquire goose eggs from greater snow geese in Canada at a rate of 2.
Scats provide evidence that they eat the eggs during the winter after caching. Researchers have also noted that some eggs stored in the summer are accessed later the following spring prior to reproduction.
Among its adaptations for survival in the cold is its dense, multilayered pelage , which provides excellent insulation. There are two genetically distinct coat color morphs: white and blue.
The blue morph is often a dark blue, brown, or grey color year-round. The fox has a low surface area to volume ratio , as evidenced by its generally compact body shape, short muzzle and legs, and short, thick ears.
Since less of its surface area is exposed to the Arctic cold, less heat escapes from its body. Overall, the Arctic foxes hearing is less sensitive than the dog and the kit fox.
The Arctic fox and the kit fox have a low upper-frequency limit compared to the domestic dog and other carnivores. The Arctic fox also has a keen sense of smell.
It is possible that they use their sense of smell to also track down polar bears. The Arctic fox contains advantageous genes to overcome extreme cold and starvation periods.
Transcriptome sequencing has identified two genes that are under positive selection : Glycolipid transfer protein domain containing 1 GLTPD1 and V-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 2 AKT2.
The Arctic fox decreases its BMR via metabolic depression in the winter to conserve fat storage and minimize energy requirements.
However, some scientists have concluded that this stat is not accurate since it was never tested using the proper equipment.
The regions that have the greatest heat loss are the nose, ears, legs, and feet, which is useful in the summer for thermal heat regulation.
Also, the Arctic fox has a beneficial mechanism in their nose for evaporative cooling like dogs, which keeps the brain cool during the summer and exercise.
One way that Arctic foxes regulate their body temperature is by utilizing a countercurrent heat exchange in the blood of their legs.
They do this by increasing vasodilation and blood flow to a capillary rete in the pad surface, which is in direct contact with the snow rather than the entire foot.
They selectively vasoconstrict blood vessels in the center of the foot pad, which conserves energy and minimizes heat loss. If the core temperature drops, the pad of the foot will remain constantly above the tissue freezing point.
Vulpes lagopus is a 'true fox' belonging to the genus Vulpes of the fox tribe Vulpini , which consists of 12 extant species. Although it has previously been assigned to its own monotypic genus Alopex , recent genetic evidence now places it in the genus Vulpes along with the majority of other foxes.
Arctic fox  Fig. Swift fox . It was originally described by Carl Linnaeus in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae in as Canis lagopus.
The type specimen was recovered from Lapland , Sweden. The generic name vulpes is Latin for "fox". Looking at the most recent phylogeny, the Arctic fox diverged from the domesticated dog Canis lupus familiaris at approximately 12 MYA.
The Arctic fox and the red fox Vulpes vulpes diverged approximately 3. Additionally, the Arctic fox diverged from its sister group, the kit fox Vulpes macrotis , at about 0.
On the Tibetan Plateau , fossils of the extinct ancestral Arctic fox Vulpes qiuzhudingi from the early Pliocene 5. It is believed that this ancient fox is the ancestor of the modern Arctic fox.
By using stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis of fossils, researchers claim that the Tibetan Plateau experienced tundra-like conditions during the Pliocene and harbored cold-adapted mammals that later spread to North America and Eurasia during the Pleistocene Epoch 2.
Besides the nominate subspecies , the common Arctic fox, V. The Arctic fox has a circumpolar distribution and occurs in Arctic tundra habitats in northern Europe, northern Asia, and North America.
In the late 19th century, it was introduced into the Aleutian Islands southwest of Alaska. However, the population on the Aleutian Islands is currently being eradicated in conservation efforts to preserve the local bird population.
The Arctic fox is the only land mammal native to Iceland. The color of the fox's coat also determines where they are most likely to be found.
The white morph mainly lives inland and blends in with the snowy tundra, while the blue morph occupies the coasts because its dark color blends in with the cliffs and rocks.
During the winter, Commuting trips in Arctic foxes last less than 3 days and occur between 0—2. Nomadism is found in 3. Arctic foxes in Canada that undergo nomadism and migrations voyage from the Canadian archipelago to Greenland and northwestern Canada.
The duration and distance traveled between males and females is not significantly different. Arctic foxes closer to goose colonies located at the coasts are less likely to migrate.
Meanwhile, foxes experiencing low-density lemming populations are more likely to make sea ice trips. Residency is common in the Arctic fox population so that they can maintain their territories.
Nomadic behavior becomes more common as the foxes age. Neutron stars are formed when a massive star generally four Read More. All Tech.
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