Arctic Fox Research Paper

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Arctic Tundra
The Arctic Foxone of the world’s driest and coldest biomes, the Arctic tundra
By Aanirudh Kheterpal is categorised as an extreme environment.

The average temperature of this region, -12˚C to -6˚C, requires special adaptations in terms of thermal insulation. While the nonstop 50-60 days of summer sunlight is counterintuitive, this region also experiences 60-70 days of lightless winter, adding to the extremeness of this region. Low 15-25mm of annual rain is a concern, however, what’s more important is the year round permafrost, that is 25-100cm deep, and prevents plant growth. With prey hidden in tunnels under this permafrost, special adaptations are required in terms of hunting techniques. Lastly, Arctic blizzards are
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The Arctic fox has multiple adaptations to help it survive the same. Compared to other fox species, the Arctic fox has relatively shorter necks, legs and ears(structural adaptation). With a smaller surface area exposed, less heat is lost when compared to the more lanky Southern Foxes. The southern foxes are 25% larger that their Arctic counterparts, and thus unable to survive the harsh Arctic weather. Additionally, the Arctic fox also has a thick and insulating coat, including on the tail. The use of the tail is a physiological adaptation. When the fox is active, the tail is not used, but when it is cold, the fox curls up to sleep, with the tail wrapped around it. While small body, thick coat and furry tail are all structural adaptations, the Arctic fox also has various physiological and behavioural adaptations to survive the cold. The Arctic fox has a thick layer of body fat (physiological adaptation) for insulation and food storage, for times when prey are few. These animals also have countercurrent heat exchangers in their paws(physiological adaptation). Blood entering their paws heats up the blood that is exiting, preventing the core of the fox to be cooled by heat loss from extremities. Another behavioural adaptation is observed during blizzards, or extremely cold weather, when the Arctic Foxes dig tunnels into the snow to shield themselves from the icy winds and obtain insulation…show more content…
Along with supreme insulation, the Arctic fox can spectacularly lower resting metabolic rate when required, unlike the Red fox. The light foot tread of the Arctic fox enable it to travel long distances in heavy permafrost, while Red Foxes are incapable of the same. If not for these supreme adaptations, Arctic Foxes would have been comfortably replaced by their stronger

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