The Arctic is a harsh environment, but the animals on this list can survive on the frozen tundra or in the frigid waters that encircle the North Pole. Many of the Arctic species on this list have evolved particular adaptations to survive with the harsh circumstances of the far north. Some of these Arctic species, such as the polar bear and the snowy owl, you may have seen before.
Here are 10 arctic animals that you can spot on the white, snowy background.
1. Polar Bear
The polar bear is also called as “nanook,” “nanuq,” “ice bear,” “sea bear,” and “Isbjorn.” These majestic white bears are designated as “threatened” and are protected under the Endangered Species Act of the United States. Polar bears require a lot of fat, hence their diet consists mostly of seals. Polar bears can be found in Canada, Alaska, Russia, Greenland, and Norway.
2. Arctic Fox
The Arctic Fox has various adaptations that allow it to survive in the Arctic environment. The thick fur, which changes color from brown in the summer to white in the winter, is the most noticeable of them. The fox’s coat serves as insulation as well as camouflage.
3. Snowy Owl
The largest birds found in the Arctic are snowy owls. They have erratic migration habits and can be found as far south as the northern United States. The snowy owl’s feathers are grey when they are owlets (baby owls). When completely developed, their feathers are pure white, providing winter camouflage. These owls’ major diet consists of small animals and lemmings.
4. Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle is both the country’s national bird and its national animal. It is found not just in the Arctic, but also in a wide range of other ecosystems across North America, from Canada to northern Mexico. The bald eagle belongs to the genus Haliaeetus, which includes birds known as “sea eagles.” The majority of the bald eagle’s diet consists of fish.
This rare Arctic creature is known as the “unicorn of the sea” because of the long (up to 10 feet) tusk projecting from its jaw. It can be found swimming in the waters of Norway, Russia, Greenland, and Canada. Scientists are still baffled by narwhal hunting and breeding habits, though we do know that they use their tusks to prepare food and paralyze their prey. The narwhal diet varies by locale, but consists mostly of halibut, cod, shrimp, and squid.
6. Beluga Whale
Beluga whales can be found off the shores of Russia, North America, and Greenland. It is a very social species that often lives in small pods of about ten creatures. When swimming beneath the Arctic ice, the beluga whale’s pure white color serves as disguise. They are as clever as their cousins, dolphin.
7. Canada Lynx
The lynx is a smaller-sized cat that is less well-known. The Canada lynx has long legs and large paws that make it easier to travel in deep snow. They typically hunt snowshoe hares, which are related to Arctic hares. The Canada lynx became extinct in Colorado in the 1970s, but the animals were successfully reintroduced.
The Stoat, often known as the Ermine, is a weasel. (The term ‘ermine’ is occasionally used to refer to the animal solely when it is dressed in its white winter coat.) Stoats, despite their small size, are skilled hunters, capable of preying on creatures much larger than themselves (such as rabbits). Stoats will frequently reside in their victims’ burrows rather than digging their own.
9. Atlantic Puffin
Atlantic puffins, sometimes known as common puffins, are relatives to the now-extinct great auk. Northern Europe, the Arctic Circle, Newfoundland, and sections of Maine are all home to the Atlantic puffin. This animal spends the most of its time above the water, diving for fish and squid. The prominent bill indicates the breeding season, when the birds can be spotted on dry land in the spring and summer.
10. Harp Seal
The harp seal has a yellow coat at birth that turns white after three days. As the animal ages, it turns silvery-grey. Harp seals have a thick layer of blubber on their bodies to keep them warm. Their flippers serve as heat exchangers, cooling in the summer and warming in the winter.
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