Physical Characteristics

     The Arctic Fox has many physical characteristics that allow it to live and survive in its environment. A dense, fluffy fur coat protects it from the cold, and small rounded ears control sound location and heat loss. A good supply of body fat and a system of countercurrent heat exchange maintain a core temperature. Footpads on Arctic Foxes' paws are covered in fur to prevent frostbite, and provide traction when walking on ice. Males average about 7 lbs, and females average about 6 lbs. They range between about 6 and 10 lbs. Arctic Foxes are about 30-40" long, with a tail length of about 10-13", and are about 9-11" high. Coloration includes blue-gray and white fur during the winter, which then darkens during the summer. However, the white coat is more common than the blue-gray. During the winter, the Arctic Fox's white fur helps it blend in with its snowy surroundings, and its fur darkens during the summer to maintain camoflauge with its environment during different times of the year.

Shown above are two Arctic Foxes. While one has dark fur in the summer (left), the other has white fur in the winter (right).