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Arctic Fox Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Jon Hadley

Mary Jon has taught in an elementary school for nine years, and am currently working on my doctorate in curriculum, instruction and assessment.

In this lesson we will learn about how arctic fox adaptations help them to survive in the tundra of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and other icy areas of the world.

Polar Arctic Foxes use Camouflage

Polar arctic fox with summer and winter fur

How can polar arctic foxes live in the tundra? Well, they have adaptations that allow them to live in icy temperatures during winter, and warmer temperatures in spring and summer. The arctic fox has the best insulation of any land mammal, which protects it from the cold. Its thick fur helps it survive temperatures far below 0 degrees. So, they don't have to wear heavy coats like we do. They have just the right fur coat for each season of the year.

During the winter the polar arctic fox has white fur as its camouflage, which allows it to blend in with the snowy environment. During the warmer months its fur is lighter weight, and the color changes to a mixture of brown, gray and white. This allows the fox to blend in with the rocky areas as the snow melts.

Polar Arctic Foxes are Excellent Hunters

Polar arctic fox hunting in the snow.
Picture of polar arctic fox walking

A strong sense of hearing and smell is used for hunting. Polar arctic foxes can hear and smell a lemming, its favorite food, under several feet of snow. Once the lemming is located, the fox jumps straight into the air and dives into the snow headfirst to capture its dinner.

The foot pads of the arctic fox are thick, furry and well insulated, like snow boots are for us. This allows them to walk long distances over snow and ice while hunting. The fox's tail helps it keep its balance, and serves as a blanket when it sleeps. Their small, furry ears help them to stay warm by letting out less body heat. Even though their ears are small, they still have excellent hearing.

The polar arctic fox lives on the treeless plains, and survives mostly off of eating lemmings. A lemming looks similar to a mole you might see making tunnels in your yard. When lemmings are not available, the polar arctic fox will eat just about anything. They are even known to eat polar bear leftovers. The arctic fox is not only a meat lover, but they even love vegetables and fruits when they can get them. So, this means the arctic fox is an omnivore doesn't it?

The Blue Arctic Fox

Blue Arctic Fox
Blue arctic fox picture

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