Have you ever wondered how any animals live in the North Pole? Well, many kinds, ranging from whales to birds have amazing adaptations, but today we’ll be talking about reindeer, Arctic foxes, and Pacific walruses! They all have amazing abilities that help them live in places where temperatures can be colder than your freezer! Where there’s miles and miles of white sheets of snow. It doesn’t seem like anything can survive here.
First off, let’s tell you about the carnivorous Arctic fox. They have an average height of 10 inches- shorter than a ruler! Their small bodies allow them to run as fast as a motorcycle, which can help them escape from predators like wolves and Polar bears. They may have a few predators, but they have plenty of prey. Arctic foxes eat many small rodents like hares, lemmings, but also birds. If they can’t find anything to eat they’ll eat scraps from larger animals. Sometimes they will dive head first into snow when hunting, like a little diver! When they’re in the snow it’s very hard to see them because of their white camouflaged fur. In the summertime, their fur becomes brown so they can stay hidden all year long. When they do start to become too cold to survive in the winter, their fluffy tails will protect them, sometimes they even use it like a cute blanket! Arctic foxes are not a danger to humans, but this next animal can be!
Next, is the walrus. They are massive creatures that can weigh up to 2,200 pounds, that’s even heavier than a Hippopotamus! That extra weight helps them when they don’t have much food, because they have extra fat to give them extra energy to keep them from starving. They are very large also to defend their babies against predators, like polar bears and orcas. Their pregnancies even last up to fifteen months-almost twice as long of a human’s! Walruses have very thick blubber to protect them from the bitter cold weather. A layer of blubber can be 3-6 inches thick, which is thicker than the height of your phone! Both male and female walruses grow tusks, and males use them to defend themselves and their females. Walruses may seem very scary, but they are only a threat if you annoy them. Humans are actually the walruses main hunter. So they could be scared of you!? A walruses main diet consists of clams and small fish but when food is scarce the walrus is known to eat dead small seal carcasses. These are all reason for why the walrus can thrive in a world of ice!
Finally, Santa’s helpers, reindeer! One adaptation is how easy it is for them to travel 40 to 50 km a day to get away from predators. These mammals are thought to be gentle and kind but under the right circumstances they could be very dangerous. They wouldn’t attack you on sight, but if you confront them while they are in a herd you probably won’t make them very happy. Considering that their average weight is 132 – 660 lbs they would would leave you pretty damaged. Though when not in a herd, reindeer are quiet, kind herbivores. A reindeer’s diet consists of sedge, grasses, herbs, ferns and mosses on the tundra. Arctic Foxes are predators of reindeer and they feast on the smaller and younger of the herd and polar bears prey on the adults.
All these mammals have extraordinary ways to survive in the cold, the Arctic fox and reindeer have two coats of fur and walruses have thick blubber to protect themselves. We also learned that while reindeer can’t fly they can move pretty quickly, that Arctic foxes can dive deep into the snow for prey and walruses can weigh 2,200 pounds! And that is how these amazing animals survive in the brutal cold.