What Do Arctic Foxes Eat?


Quick Answer

Lemmings are the favorite food of arctic foxes. The foxes, however, have strange eating habits. Even though they are carnivores, they eat almost anything necessary to survive.

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What Do Arctic Foxes Eat?
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Full Answer

In order to get lemmings, the arctic fox digs them out of their underground homes or pounces on them when they are outside. It can take thousands of lemmings to feed an arctic fox and its family for a single year. This dependence on lemmings, however, often means that arctic foxes need to be resourceful in obtaining their meals, because the population of lemmings can be unpredictable.

To help them make it through the times when lemmings are scarce, arctic foxes eat hares, voles, eggs, small birds and even berries. In some instances, the arctic fox also acts as a scavenger and eats the dead carcass of an animal killed by another predator. The foxes have also been known to follow polar bears. After the bear has killed a seal and eaten its fill, the fox takes advantage of the leftovers.

Arctic foxes have also developed a way to store leftover food for times when food becomes scarce. If they have more than they can eat in one meal, they dig a small section in the frozen dirt of their den to act as a refrigerator.

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