Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An Arctic Fox...and Ultrarunning

 Image credit National Geographic.

I’ve blogged before about the prodigious swimming feat of a certain polar bear.  Well, I’m back with a tale of another denizen of the Arctic--this time an Arctic fox, which via the magic of satellite telemetry now is known for a prodigious feat of walking and running.

You know, sorta like Ultrarunning.

Per the Feb/March issue of National Wildlife, in 2008 one female Arctic fox was tagged and monitored from its home on Bylot Island, just north of Baffin Island, 250 miles west of Greenland.  I’m tempted to use the term “God-forsaken” but I guess the foxes are happy there.

In the fall of 2008 she began to wander, all over the place: onto the ice cap, back onto land, repeat.  Over the course of one year, she covered some 3,100 miles.  That’s nearly 3 times my meager running total in a typical year.  And unlike this fox, I don’t run in -40F temperatures, and over 90 days in total darkness, and hunt for my food along the way.

Per the article:

Arctic foxes that decide not to stay in one area during the long winter appear to be true nomads, roaming distances that are continental in scale.

I am simply in awe of this critter in comparison to our humble Ultrarunning efforts.


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