Survival Strategies in the Frozen Wilderness
Some Animals Species Have Adapted to a Life of Snow and
by Sara Diaz, age 11
Some animals thrive in warm air and water temperatures, but Arctic and Antarctic animals have adapted to life in their cold climates.
One of these animals is the Artic tern. The Arctic tern is a bird that lives in the Arctic during the summer when the sun never completely sets. Then, as winter approaches, it makes a 12,000-mile migration to the South Pole for the winter. They then spend winter in 24-hours daylight.
When people think of cold-climate animals, they often think of seals. Even though they may look a bit like a fish, seals are warm- blooded mammals. To survive icy waters, seals have a layer of fat called blubber to keep them warm. They also have a layer of fur.
Seals and sea lions have similarly shaped bodies, but they are quite different. Two major differences between seals and sea lions is that sea lions have external ears and back flippers, while seals do not.
Almost all penguin species live in the Antarctic. The Emperor penguin is the only bird that lays its egg in the bitter cold of the Antarctic. To keep their eggs warm while holding them they tuck them under a flap of belly fat and rest the egg on their feet.
Another animal that lives in the cold deep sea is the largest animal in the world - - the blue whale. It can grow over 100 feet long and can weigh up to 180 tons.
Cold-climate animals are well adapted to their habitats. Many of these species are accustomed to getting around in the thick snow. The snowshoe hare has big feet so it can move easily in the snow. The snowshoe hare also has hair between its toes to keep its feet warm.
All these animals have developed different ways of surviving in the severe cold weather of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. They are also part of unique ecosystems. In the icy habitats of these regions animal species often depend on one another for survival.
[Source: The Big Book of Knowledge]