“Sly as a fox” is a simile we use to suggest that a person is sneaky, tricky or dishonest. But is a fox really sly?
It is believed that Aesop’s fables – like The Fox and the Crow – gave this adorable animal a bit of a bad reputation. While foxes are often seen sneaking around the tundra attempting to steal goose eggs to eat, it’s for survival – it’s not about being tricky or dishonest.
Here are a few fun facts about the Arctic fox:
FEAST FOR A FOX
Arctic foxes eat voles, mice, lemmings, rabbits and other small animals throughout the fall and winter. In the spring, they supplement their diet with nesting birds and eggs
The Arctic fox is the only member of the Canidae family whose coat changes colour. Whelps, or pups, are born with a grey pelt.
Arctic fox dens can be over 300 years old and have as many as 100 entrances.
Angry foxes stick their tails straight into the air and shove each other with their bums. It’s believed that they are using their scent glands to establish dominance and mark their territory.
Arctic foxes nosedive into the snow when hunting. Excellent hearing allows them to detect lemmings moving underneath the snow. When the lemmings get close, the fox pounces!
An average litter size is 11 whelps. That is the largest recorded litter of any wild mammal.
Arctic foxes live in arctic and alpine tundra in the northernmost regions of Europe, Asia, North America, Greenland and Iceland.