Vulpes lagopus is the fox of snow, or as known polar fox, snow fox, the white fox, or Arctic fox which is the most famous name and you may hear about it before.
Vulpes lagopus is one of the smallest foxes which used to live in ice areas where the weather is so cold too freezing like North Hemisphere, biome, and tundra arctic, In countries like Alaska, north Russia, Fennoscandia, Alaska, Greenland, Canadian Archipelago, and the Arctic Seas’ islands.
The Arctic fox has very thick layer of white fur with big tail which helps in keeping it warm and hiding from enemies.
It is about 46 to 68 cm long, and the tail is 30-cm. its body weight is between 3–8 kg, and its body looks round in order to prevent heat loss.
The ears of the Arctic fox are short and round, also there is a fur mask, and the fur covers the inside part of legs.
Most of these foxes die early in the first year because of its hard habitat conditions, and some live until the age of eleven years.
The Arctic fox has the ability to compress its whole body in a small space taking rounded shape, putting his tail under legs to stop losing heat, and keep its body warm.
Also they do another intelligent thing to keep their body warm, as they eat to raise the fat level in the body, the body may increase by 50% in autumn to store fats.
These stored fats can be a hidden source for energy in cold days.
Also in windy days they hide in their caves, although they are moving all the year, but it’s a way to avoid storms.
Vulpes lagopus considered one of the Carnivora, whos main food depend on meat; it can eat any available animals like birds, voles, fish, lemmings, carrion, ringed seal, and even cadavers.
It may search for dead animal bodies that left by other animals like wolves, or pears. Also it can eat eggs, seaweed, and fruits.
This amazing animal as two different ways to save food for hard days:
First is by entombing food as stock, if there were food surplus.
The second is more interesting, we talk about it earlier, which is fat body storing, and it can get energy amount bout 14740 kJ from saved fats in winter.
The Arctic fox can be the only animal that has fur on his legs, and inside foots, because of hard living conditions, also it has several layers coat can work as an insulator to afford low degrees of temperature which can reach −70 °C.
The fur coat is the best animal insulator; no other animal has coat similar to that, as it can keep its body temperature about 104°F. And it has two available colors:
– White coat in the winter and it can be changed to be brown on the back with bright grey on belly and some parts of body at summer.
– Blue coat it can be all the year brown, gray or dark blue.
That color variation during different times of the year can help in finding the right habitat of the fox.
The Arctic fox has sharp hearing ability, it can hear in range of 25 Hz–16 kHz which allows him hear any available prey under snow.
Also the smell sense is so strong to help him find food easily, as it can smell from distance about 10 to 40 km.
Vulpes lagopus can control its heart beats, and metabolism as it can make it very slow at warm weather in order to save its energy, and reduce food need.