Sabtu, 15 September 2012

Animals of the Arctic

The Arctic is a unique region of our planet with extreme weather conditions that require special adaptations by the people and animals that inhabit it. With temperatures well below freezing and long periods of darkness during the winter months, the animals that make the Arctic their home have learnt to adapt and thrive in this hostile environment. Polar expeditions will give travellers the opportunity to learn more about these wonderful animals and allow an insight into how they are able to survive. Here are a few animals you may find in this extreme environment.

The Arctic Fox

This crafty little animal, although small in size, is a good example of a creature that has adapted to maintain its survival in a harsh climate. Its small body, covered in a thick fur coat, is able to retain the heat it produces, which saves the animal from expending vast amounts of energy to keep warm. When not scavenging for food on the tundra, it can be found curled up and hidden away in a hole below the surface. This enables the Arctic Fox to escape underground when the freezing winds blow across the surface. Whilst on your polar expeditions, you will have to look hard to find this fox as it is well camouflaged and hard to spot in the snow. Due to its incredibly acute hearing, it is able to locate and pounce on the smaller rodents on which it feeds.


These mammals are truly mammoth in stature, reaching lengths of up to 2.5 metres and weighing up to one and a half tons. Although specially adapted to living under the sea, the Walrus can often be found basking in herds on land. The most striking feature of the Walrus is its tusks. Used for hunting prey and dominant displays of power, the long tusks are an indication of how mature the Walrus is. Walruses find food by diving off their ice shelf platforms and foraging for shrimps and crabs on the sea floor. When observing them on polar expeditions, you may notice how their bodies are scarred from fights with other males during displays of strength whilst trying to secure mating rights with the females.

Arctic Polar Bear

This magnificent animal is the world's largest land-dwelling carnivore. Its specially adapted paws enable the mammal to spread its weight out evenly and move across vast areas of relatively thin ice. Polar Bears are born and reared on land, but tend to spend most of their lives at sea hunting seals, fish and other smaller mammals. Due to its vast fat reserves, the animal is able to go for long periods without having to feed. Polar expeditions to the Arctic will take you right into the Polar Bears' habitat, where you will see first-hand how they have evolved to survive in this harsh sub-zero environment.

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