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The Arctic Fox By Cameron Grade 4 Characteristics Behavior Babies

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1 The Arctic Fox By Cameron Grade 4 Characteristics Behavior Babies
Enemies& Defense Food The Arctic Fox Habitat Interesting Facts By Cameron Grade 4 Where I Got My Info

2 Character The arctic fox has a gray or blue coat in the summer and a thick, warm white coat in the winter. Its footpads are also densely furred so that the animal can travel on the snow and ice hunting for prey. The arctic fox has to be very fast or it will become the polar bear's lunch! In winter, white (a few are gray to dark gray-blue); in summer, brown or gray above, belly lighter. Two species of fox are common on the Seaward Peninsula. Arctic foxes resemble a small, gray-brown dog in summer, but turn pure white in winter. Unlike most other foxes, their ears are rounded on the tips. Body19-22" long A fox of the extreme north, pure white in winter, brownish-gray in summer. The Arctic Fox is well suited to its subzero habitat: it has a compact body with short legs and ears (body heat is lost through long ears and legs), dense fur, and thick hair on the footpads, which insulates against the cold and provides traction on ice.

3 Babies Pups are born in dens every spring. The female fox has a litter of 6-12 and the family will stay together through the summer. In March or April, two months before the end of winter, arctic foxes begin to form mating pairs. Mating follows a long and playful period of courtship involving much active chasing and play fighting. Throughout the females' 51- to 57-day pregnancy, the pair remains together and finds a den for raising the whelps. Den sites are typically located on the tops or sides of eskers or on the tops of banks of lakes or rivers where the soil is sandy, dry, and stable. The den sites are usually free from snow earlier than the surrounding landscape because of the good drainage. Dens may be up to 300 years old and may possess as many as 100 entrances. Before the birth of the whelps, or pups, both adults share the responsibility for cleaning out a portion of the den and digging one or more new entrances. Litters of arctic foxes are born between late May and early June. The mean litter size is about 11 whelps. It is the largest litter recorded for any candid, double the mean value for the red fox and the highest of any wild mammal in the world. Litters of up to 22 whelps have been recorded in the USSR At birth the whelps are blind, helpless, covered with hair, and weigh about 57g. Compared with other candid, the male fox is probably one of the most attentive and best providers of food during the denning period. Just before the birth of the whelps and while.

4 Enemies & Defense In Canada, this small mammal is found from the northern tip of Ellesmere Island to the southern tip of James Bay. The wide distribution of this fox in the severe arctic environment is due to its excellent adaptation to cold and to a wide variety of foods.

5 Food The arctic fox feeds on lemmings, voles, squirrels, birds, bird eggs, berries, fish and carrion. In the winter the fox will follow polar bears hoping to eat the bear's leftover. Both species of fox feed on small mammals including voles, lemmings and an occasional hare. They will also eat salmon, berries, and food left around human camps. a carnivore and scavenger, diet consisting of lemmings, eggs and young of many different species of birds, and carrionThe male fox brings food for the family and guards the den.

6 Habitat The arctic fox weighs from 2.5 to 9kg and measures between 75 and 115cm in length, making it the smallest wild candid in Canada – about the size of a large domestic cat. The tail is long and bushy, making up between 30 and 35% of its total length. Over the winter, the arctic fox has a heavy white coat, but during May, when early summer temperatures begin to melt the snow, the coat is shed for a thinner, two-tone brown pelage. A few weeks later the back, tail, and legs are dark brown and the remaining underparts are a buff color. A small proportion of this species has a heavy, pale bluish-gray coat in winter which becomes thinner and darker bluish-gray in summer. The blue coloration (blue fox) occurs in almost all populations, although the proportion tends to be higher in those animals living in marine areas that remain mostly ice-free during winter. In Canada blue foxes seldom make up more than 5% of animals that are trapped, where as in Greenland, for example, the proportion of blue foxes may reach 50%. The voice of the arctic fox is a sound rarely heard except during the breeding season. Courting foxes communicate with a barking yowl that may be heard over a great distance. Adults also yelp to warn their pups of danger and give a high-pitched undulating whine when disputing territorial claims with neighboring foxes.

7 Behavior The foxes live a communal and nomadic life, often forming small bands to scavenge the countryside for food. They do not hibernate during the winter months. Foxes also construct homes called dens, often in cliffs at least 1.6 km apart, in which a family social group inhabits. This group consists of one adult male, the litter, and two vixens--one of the vixens a nonbreeding animal born the previous year that stays to help care for the next litter. An arctic fox generally makes its den in a low mound 1-4 meters high in the open tundra, or in a pile of rocks at the base of a cliff. These dens have entrances and a system of tunnels covering about 30 square meters. Some of these dens have been used for centuries by generations of foxes.

8 Interesting Facts It does not hibernate during the winter. Those living in the coldest Arctic areas follow polar bears and feed on the left-overs. Some Arctic foxes have a steel blue winter coat.

9 Where I Got My Info

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