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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Young fox hunting in the snow

4 minutes

What’s worth plunging nose-first into icy snow for? A lemming snack, of course

It might be hard not to be amused by the arctic fox’s repeated nose-dives into snow in search of lemmings, but for this seemingly playful predator it’s no laughing matter. In the arctic fox’s frozen landscape, where winter temperatures can reach -50 degrees Celsius, survival can require roaming 100 kilometres a day just to hunt down or scavenge a single morsel of food. In this excerpt from the BBC’s ‘Life Story’ series, an arctic fox tracks and hunts lemmings hidden beneath the snow – a skill that requires persistence, precision, and a resilient snout.

Narrator: David Attenborough

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

Essay/Earth Science
Life goes deeper

The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms

Gaetan Borgonie & Maggie Lau