The Arctic Ocean Teems with Wildlife


The Arctic Ocean is home to a diverse collection of animals including belugas, walruses, narwhals, and jellyfish.

Belugas are white whales. At birth they are gray, but they turn white when after a few years. To deal with the icy cold Arctic conditions, belugas have blubber that keeps them warm. Nicknamed “sea canary” because they tweet like canary birds, these whales eat fish, crab, and shrimp.

A relative of the beluga, the narwhal, is another sea mammal. The narwhal does not chew its food, rather it sucks its food. These creatures live under the ice during winter and close to the shore in summer. They eat fish, shrimp, and squid. Like belugas, narwhals make clicking, whistling, and squeaking sounds. They are also unique because their “tusks’’ look like unicorn’s horns. Narwhals are among the deepest divers of the marine mammals.

Another mammal, the walrus also lives in the arctic. Specifically, walruses reside in the northern parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Walruses’ tusks can grow up to three feet. They eat clams, shrimps, crabs, tubeworms, and soft coral. Walruses make many sounds, too; they growl, whistle, tap, click, grunt, and bark. Like the narwhal, male walruses weigh as much as small cars, while the females are smaller.

Jellyfish are not mammals, but they also live in the cold Arctic Oceans. Some are even as wide as a small car. Jellyfish eat zooplankton, fish, and other jellyfish. The sub-species of jellyfish known as the “lion’s mane” has a body that is divided into eight parts called lobes. Each lobe has 100 tentacles. There are over 400 kinds of jellyfish in the world.

There are many interesting and unique animals that live in the Arctic Ocean. Belugas, narwhals, jellyfish, and walruses are among my favorite of these species.

[Source: National Geographic Kids: First Big Book of the Ocean]

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