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15 Best Interesting Arctic Fox Facts

How Many of These Interesting Facts About Arctic Foxes Did You Know?

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Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  August 19th 2022

There aren’t many animals in the Arctic Circle that are as cute and interesting as the Arctic Fox! Sure, that’s partly because there aren’t that many animals that can survive in a habitat where it’s so cold trees can’t grow but it’s also because Arctic Foxes are REALLY cute! How many of these interesting and fun facts about these wild animals did you already know?

1. The Arctic Fox Can Survive In One Of The Coldest Habitats On Earth!

Brrr! The Arctic Fox is a tough customer that can survive Arctic temperatures as low as –70°C. It's handy because Arctic Foxes live in the Arctic and Subarctic regions that stretch around the globe, covering areas of Russia, Europe and North America. They usually live in the Tundra, an envronment where it's even too cold for trees to grow. Arctic Foxes have even been spotted around the North Pole itself!

2. Arctic Foxes Short Legs Keep Them Toasty Warm!

Arctic Foxes are perfectly adapted to their frozen habitat. Their short logs and muzzle reduce the parts of the fox exposed to the cold weather. It's the same reason they have rounded ears rather than pointed ears! Unlike other foxes and dogs, Arctic Foxes have fur on the bottom of their paws, which insulates them against the cold ground!

3. If You Think Arctic Foxes Are Cute, You Should See Their Pups!

Here's a picture of an adorable Arctic Fox cub. Females Arctic Foxes usually give birth in the spring and can have litters of 5-8 pups! The parents raise the pups until they are a year old and are big enough to fend for themselves!

4. The Arctic Fox Has The Warmest Fur!

The best defence the Arctic Fox has against the harsh climate is its fantastic fur coat. It's unbelievably dense and consists of multiple layers that trap air and insulate the fox against the cold. Did you know that the Arctic Fox's pelt is the warmest of any animal found in the arctic?

5. The Arctic Fox Likes A Bit Of Personal Space!

Most of the time, Arctic Foxes are solitary animals living alone in the Tundra. An Arctic Fox's range can be as much as 12 square miles, and they'll mark the edge of their territory by weeing and pooing on the boundary.

6. The Arctic Fox Doesn't Hibernate!

Because they're so good in frozen climates, Arctic Foxes don't hibernate like a lot of other cold weather mammals. Sometimes though, if an Arctic Fox can't find food - or if the weather is REALLY cold - the fox will dig a snow den and shelter for up to two weeks. Like hibernating mammals, Arctic Foxes can slow their heart rate and metabolism. This means the Arctic Fox can save energy and not need to eat as much as usual!

7. The Arctic Fox Changes It’s Coat Colour!

Like the Kardashians, the Arctic Fox has a different wardrobe for each season. In the summer, the Arctic fox has a grey or brown coat. This coat transforms into their famous thick white fur in the winter. The colour change helps the Arctic Fox camouflage itself so it isn't spotted by its prey or predators! It's the only member of the dog family that can change colour!

8. Arctic Foxes Aren't Fussy Eaters!

Arctic Fox's favourite food is the lemming. This little rodent lives beneath the snow layer, and Arctic Foxes have to listen for their squeaking. Once a family of lemmings is located by an Arctic Fox, it will pounce, burrowing quickly through the snow to catch and eat the lemming! But Arctic Foxes aren't fussy eaters. When times are tougher, they'll eat insects, berries, and even the droppings of other animals!

9. The Arctic Fox Is Related To The Red Foxes Who Probably Go Through Your Bins!

Arctic Foxes are related to the foxes you might see rifling through your bins. Even though they're in the canid family - home to wolves, dogs and foxes - Arctic Foxes only grow to the size of a domestic cat. Most of their length is their exceeding cute and fluffy tail!

10. Arctic Foxes Are Cheeky (And Brave!)

In winter, food is scarce for the Arctic Fox, so they adopt an unusually cheeky (and dangerous) method of finding food. The Arctic Fox will find the footprints of a polar bear and follow them until it finds the bear's last leftover meal or the bear itself. If the Arctic Fox finds the bear, it will track it for days until the bear makes another kill. Then the fox will try and scavenge some leftovers! It's o dangerous, it's bear-ly believable!

11. Arctic Foxes Are The Ninjas Of The Arctic!

Arctic Foxes furry paw pads don't just keep their feet warm. The coating of soft fur helps quieten the Arctic Foxes paw steps as it sneaks up on its prey. Their changing coat colour also makes it harder for predators to spot them whatever the season. This helps the Arctic Fox keep safe from eagles, wolves and polar bears, and this super stealth power makes them the ninja of the Frozen North!

12. Arctic Foxes Mate For Life!

The Arctic Fox will choose a mate and stay with them for life. The pair will separate to hunt, meeting up again in mating season to have cubs. Often, when the Arctic Fox has cubs, the family will stay together in a small group until the cubs are old enough to set off on their own!

13. Arctic Foxes Have An Amazing Sense Of Smell!

Arctic foxes near the sea will scavenge anything edible the tide brings ashore. The heightened sense of smell helps them locate dead sea animals washed ashore (gross!), and an Arctic Fox can smell a seal den a mile away. Whilst Arctic Foxes are too small to catch and kill an adult seal they'll gleefully help themselves to a seal pup that's become separated from its parents! Not so cute now, eh?

14. Arctic Foxes Love To Tunnel!

Arctic foxes live in burrows with tunnels dug into earth or snow or between rocks. The burrow will usually have more than one entrance so the Fox can't be trapped inside by a predator. Because the Arctic Fox has to move around looking for food, it will dig multiple borrows across its territory. Often a burrow will begin in bad weather. The Arctic Fox is a skilled digger who can create a cosy hole even in the most wintery of blizzards! Can he dig it? Yes he can!

15. Arctic Foxes Are Under Threat!

Sadly, Arctic foxes are not just threatened by wolves, bears, and eagles. They're also threatened by humans. Arctic Foxes are trapped for their furs and can catch diseases from domestic dogs in their territory. Human-caused climate change is also a threat. As global warming shrinks the snowline, the range of the Arctic Fox gets smaller and smaller!