White fox from the collection of N.P. Alin in Cherdyn, Russia.
Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) are small canids that live, predictably, in the arctic, across the globe. Their scientific name means “rabbit-foot fox”, because of the rabbit-like fur on their feet.
Despite their thick, insulating winter fur, making them seem relatively hefty for their size, arctic foxes are small, lithe creatures, with an average weight of just 3 kg (~6.6 lbs). This light weight means they can trot on top of the snowpack, and use their excellent hearing to listen for voles and lemmings tunneling underneath. They then spring up, jab through the snowpack with their front paws, and grab their winter snack from below. In spring and summer, berries, eggs, and seaweed supplement their diet.
Photographed by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, in 1910. Now in the US Library of Congress Archives.