Scientific Name (Species): Vulpes Lagopus
Kingdom: Animal Kingdom
Genus: True Fox
The Arctic Fox is a very different kind of fox. It first evolved in the Glacial period, 2.6 million years ago, in Europe. They have round compact bodies, and their muzzles, ears, and legs are short, which makes them very agile. During the summer, they live in the Tundra by the edge of the forest; they fur is brown and thin. But in the winter, they go where the ice flows, their fur changes to become white and thick, to camouflage in the snow. It creates a burrow by a hillside or bank, that usually has more than one entrance. (Found Greenland, Russia, Canada, Alaska, Iceland, etc.)
- Thicker fur for the winter
- Incereased metabolic rate to maintain homeothermy
- Short muzzle, ears and legs, and rounded body to reduce heat loss
- Capillary rete in skin of pads to protect the fox from cold floors
- Fat Metabolism genes
- reduced Metabolism during starvation/harsh winters
- Fur color change
This shows how Arctic Foxes have evolved, and gained new adaptations/genes that other foxes don't have.
A Human uses it's vertebrae to stand upright, and it has additions to it's structure like it's five major sections: the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, coccygeal; the Arctic Fox only has the the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar, which affects it's posture.
The Sea Lion uses it's shoulder blade to help it swim, and it affects the way it walks on land. The Arctic Fox uses it's shoulder blade to help it walk around, run, etc.
Homologous Structures show how an animal can have the same structure as another animal, but use it for a different purpose. This proves how animals have evolved from one another.
A Polydactyly is an extra limb that can be found in many animals, like dogs, cats, etc. Scientists believe that the Polydactyly was a mutation in all these animals. It is possibly a dominant gene in Arctic Foxes.
A Vestigial Structure is something in an animal that was once useful in the past, but with evolution, it has lost it's use.