Researchers tracking an arctic fox have revealed that it walked more than 2,000 miles (3,500km) - crossing from Norway to Canada.
The female fox used sea ice to travel Spitsbergen on the Svalbard Archipelago in Norway to Ellesmere Island in Nunavet Canada in just 76 days, scientists said.
Norway’s Polar Institute revealed the fox’s epic journey in a research paper titled, ‘One female’s long run across sea ice’.
They said the journey, recorded thanks to a tracking device on a collar worn by the fox, was so far that they questioned whether the collar had been removed and taken on a boat.
Writing in the paper, they said: “The short span of time spent covering such a distance highlights the exceptional movement capacity of this small-sized carnivore species.
“This journey was inter-continental in that the fox travelled from Svalbard, in Europe, to Ellesmere Island, in North America.”
They said a similar distance was reported for an adult female Arctic fox within the Canadian Arctic that travelled 4599 km, but that took 5.5 months.
“Like the Canadian case, the Svalbard fox used sea ice extensively to bridge distant regions”, the paper added.
Fjellreven vandret via havisen fra #Svalbard i Europa til #Canada i Nord-Amerika i et tempo ingen forskere tidligere har dokumentert. Foto: Elise Stømseng Les mer: https://t.co/Gk3xirq3YE pic.twitter.com/adzOVNFfyx— Norsk Polarinstitutt (@NorskPolar) June 26, 2019
Information from the tracker showed that the fox moved an average of 46.3km per day - one day travelling 155km.
Writing in the paper, researcher Eva Fuglei said: “This is, to our knowledge, the fastest movement rate ever recorded for this species.”