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Life in the cold

  • POSTED ON: 1 Dec, 2018
  • TOTAL VIEWS: 345 Views
  • POSTED BY: Madhumitha Srinivasan
  • ARTICLE POINTS: 150 Points

There’s only ice and snow as far as the eyes can see and the temperature can drop as low as −40 °C. You wonder if any life can survive in such a place. Well, lots of them do!

The Arctic region is located on the northernmost part of our planet. It is home to people and several animals like the polar bear, reindeer, walrus, harp seal, and narwhal that have adapted to the region and its harsh conditions.

Let’s take a look at some animals that belong to the Arctic region and their unique adaptation mechanisms. Solve each grid to see their full image.

Arctic fox

The Arctic fox’s thick fur is what helps shield it from the dipping temperatures and terrible winds. Its summer coat is thinner and the colour varies from dark grey to brown. In winter, it turns into a luxurious white winter coat camouflaging it against the snow. The animal also uses the thick fur on its tail to wrap around itself for extra insulation.

Beluga whale

Beluga whales are warm-blooded mammals. They have an internal metabolic process that helps to stabilise their body temperature in the cold waters of the Arctic. They also have a thick layer of blubber (oil) that surrounds their body and insulates them. Another adaptation is that rather than a dorsal fin – a fin located on the back of most marine vertebrates – a beluga has a dorsal ridge. This is because a dorsal fin would be prone to injury from ice and heat loss.

Arctic tern

These birds migrate the farthest than any other birds, flying an average of 90,000 km a year from Northern Arctic areas to the Antarctic in the South, where they spend the winter. To help adapt to the cold, the Arctic terns have a high metabolic rate, which means they consume and burn high energy food like fish and oily krill to generate heat from within.

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