The arctic fox is an incredibly hardy animal that has to withstand freezing Arctic temperatures as low as –70°C. To survive in these harsh conditions they need specialised adaptions. Their main feature is their thick, white coat which maintains their body temperature at around 40°C, and helps them camouflage into the snow.
Their shortened legs, ears and muzzle reduce their surface area exposed to the cold, and they even have fur on the soles of their feet like snow boots. However, this all changes in the summer. The arctic fox sheds their winter coat for a thinner coat, which comes in various shades of grey, black and brown. This helps them to camouflage into the grass and rocks of the summer tundra.
In spring and summer, Arctic foxes live in family groups. An adult male is called a dog, and an adult female is called a vixen. Babies are called kits, and a group of babies born at the same time is called a litter. Older brothers and sisters sometimes help raise the youngest kits.
Arctic foxes will bury food in the snow to keep it fresh for longer and go back to it later when they are hungry. They will predate on small mammals and rodents such as lemmings as well as scavenging for scraps of food left behind by other predators.
Polar regions, arctic tundra
Birds, eggs, small rodents, carrion