By Sara Thompson
Special to the company
The northernmost part of our planet is the Arctic and includes parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Alaska. It is a place of extreme climate and almost perpetual winter.
Even in summer, the temperature typically peaks at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, the wind howls constantly and temperatures drop to averages of minus -40 degrees. The ground is permafrost and no trees grow. Despite all of these extremes, the Arctic is teeming with life. All animals living in the Arctic, part-time or full-time, have amazing adaptations that help them survive and thrive in the frozen lands of the north.
Migration is one of the ways in which some of the animals that inhabit the Arctic have survived. Several species of birds fly north to breed and nest in the tundra during the hottest summer months. When the weather starts to change, they start to fly south to warmer climates where food is more plentiful. Caribou will also migrate in search of food. Some caribou can travel up to 3000 miles in a single year.
Even though they are constantly on the move, caribou do not leave the Arctic and have adaptations that help them cope with cold and ice. They have several layers of fur to insulate them from the cold. They also have wide hooves that help distribute their weight across the icy ground and keep their balance.
Many land animals in the Arctic have hollow hairs that help trap warm air closer to their bodies. They also have thicker layers of skin and fat to help with insulation. The skin of polar bears has a dark pigmentation to absorb as much solar energy as possible. Their hair is also coated with a thick oil which helps with waterproofing as they enter and exit the water in search of prey.
Animals that mainly live in water rather than on land have a thick layer of fat, called fat, under their skin. Fat protects their organs and keeps them warm from the freezing, freezing waters in which they spend much of their time. Seals, walruses and whales all live in the waters around the Arctic. These animals have adapted the ability to hold their breath for long periods of time so that they can stay underwater to hunt and to find occasional holes in the ice for breathing. The fish that seals hunt also have agents in their blood to prevent freezing, so they are also able to survive in cold water.
Even in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, there are animals that have developed amazing adaptations to survive. Whether it’s specialized hair, thick skin, layers of fat, and even stamina for migration, there are no limits to where animals will settle and adapt to. to survive.
Keep your family occupied during the winter holidays by visiting Explorit during our public hours. Visitors are welcome Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $ 5 per person. Explorit, ASTC and those aged 2 and under members are free. Explorit will be closed on December 25 and January 1.
* An Explorit membership not only supports us, but grants the recipient free tours during regular Explorit public hours, discounts on events, summer camps and workshops, and gives you the ASTC benefits for visiting other museums around the world. To buy or for more information visit https://www.explorit.org/membership or call Explorit at 530-756-0191.
* Like many small businesses, the closures have had a significant impact on our revenue and sustainability. Now is the perfect time to donate and help Explorit continue to educate and inspire the scientists of tomorrow: https://www.explorit.org/donate.