July 09, 2019
A young arctic fox has just been tracked as it made an epic journey from Norway to Canada in under 3 months. The fox showcased the endurance and adaptability its species is known for as it ran up to 150 km a day.
The fox was tagged by researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research back in 2017. The team were surprised to watch as the fox went on a 4,350 km journey. Arctic foxes often move around to areas where there is available food although this distance traveled by this fox are higher than would be considered normal.
For the occasional intrepid fox willing to traverse sea ice and such vast distances there are genetic benefits. By travelling to areas far away from where they were born, individuals can breed with other foxes that may be genetically diverse. This DNA exchange, or gene flow, between geographically isolated populations can ensure the genetic diversity of species. In the Arctic this gene flow appears to be reliant on sea ice seasonally bridging remote areas, which may leave future generations vulnerable to isolation due to global warming.
Source: Science Alert
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