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Afternoon Nap

Mike Oxley

Cornwall Ontario, Canada

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Arctic Fox (Alopex logpus)

Parc Omega, Montebello, Quebec, Canada
April 3, 2011

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Scientifically known as the Alopex lagopus, the Arctic fox is also known as the White Fox. Arctic Foxes are found in the Northern hemisphere and mostly live in areas of Northern Canada, Alaska and around the Arctic Circle in the tundra and some coastal areas. The Arctic fox weighs around 2.5 to 9 kgs and has a length that measures about 75 to 115 cms. This white fox has been given the name due to its white coat, which is predominant in the winter season. Once the spring or the summer sets in, this white coat tends to become slightly thinner and the legs along with the back and the tail tend to become slightly brown. Some Arctic foxes even have a bluish coat during the winter season which becomes darker during the summer days.

Arctic Fox Facts:

The Arctic fox digs deep burrows in the side of the cliff to inhabit. These are also known to live in a den or a cave. Such foxes also bury themselves into the snow for protection.

Arctic foxes are a nomadic lot. They generally move to different areas in the lookout for food. It is during the summer season when they live in groups that consist of mostly males and few females along with the kits.

The Arctic fox reaches sexual maturity as early as 10 months. These tend to be sexually active in the months of early March to the early days of April. Here, both the males as well as the females look after the young ones. The young kits are raised in large dens and while the young males are known to stray away from the family later on, the females tend to remain with the family.

The Arctic foxes use certain characteristic sounds to communicate with each other. These can range from a loud yowl if the distance is long to a high pitched sound when they need to warn the fox kits about any possible danger.

The arctic fox can run at the speed of around 30 mph. These are also known to skid on ice as well.
This fox has quite a few enemies, such as polar bears and wolves. The wolves and snowy owls are known to attack the young kits. Grizzly bears are also known to be a threat to the Arctic foxes. Man also poses to be a constant threat to the arctic fox as these are constantly hunted down.

This species also has the warmest fur of its kind. The compact body with its short legs and thick fur help it to battle the intense colds. The Arctic fox also has dense hair on the footpads that help to protect it from the cold, especially when hunting out.

The Arctic fox is also the only one from the dog family to change its colors.

The tail of the Arctic fox is bushy, almost like a cat’s. This helps it to maintain the balance of the body and also acts as a warm protection from the cold winters.

Arctic foxes are an omnivorous lot. They are known to eat any meat they can find including Arctic hares, herps, lemmings, ground squirrels and berries especially during the summer season. During the winter season they even eat leftover food that is caught by wolves or polar bears when it becomes difficult for it to hunt on its own. This fox is also known to dig a hole in the in the ground to store food. This acts like a freezer to keep food fresh for these Arctic foxes. Such foxes that live in the coastal areas are known to eat the seabird eggs or even their young ones. These foxes have caused a lot of damage to nesting birds in certain coastal areas.

These are known to shed their fur at least twice a year. This helps them camouflage themselves with the ever-changing environment.

Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 170 to 500 at 500 mm
iso 400, spot metered, F6.3, 1/400 second

Artwork Comments

  • Hugh Fathers
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  • Photography  by Mathilde
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