The arctic fox, snowy owl, polar bear and humpback whale all live in the arctic tundra.
- Arctic fox fur changes colour with the seasons in order to blend in with their surroundings.
- Arctic fox moms and dads usually mate for life, with both taking care of their pups.
- The average lifespan of an Arctic fox is 5 years – not bad for living in the extreme cold!
- Arctic Foxes have fur on their paws to help stay warm while walking on snow and ice!
- Arctic fox fur keeps them so warm that they won’t begin to shiver from cold until the temperature drops below -90°F!
- They have a large amount of body fat that helps to insulate their bodies in extreme cold.
- They are the main predator of bird eggs in the Arctic tundra.
- There are hundreds of thousands of Arctic foxes in North America, Europe and Asia!
- Arctic fox females deliver the largest number of pups than any other animal in the wild – as many as 25!
- The Arctic fox is the only native land mammal in Iceland!
- Snowy Owls are diurnal, which means that unlike most other owls they are active and hunt during the day and night.
- The diet of Snowy Owls consists mainly of lemmings. They are known to sit and wait for their prey and spend most of their time perched still and silent on prominent lookouts.
- Lemming populations are cyclic and in years when lemming populations are down Snowy Owls often leave the arctic regions and fly south in search of food. Because of this, about once every four years Snowy Owls are found as far south as the northern and central United States.
- An adult Snowy Owl can eat three to five lemmings per day, or up to 1,600 per year.
- The feathers of Snowy Owls have no pigment, leaving more space for air which helps them to keep warmer because air is such a good insulator.
- Their legs and toes are heavily feathered to protect them from the harsh weather in cold arctic regions.
- Snowy Owls often hang out at airports, perhaps because the wide open spaces remind them of the tundra.
- Although Snowy Owls have few predators, they still have to be watchful of arctic foxes, wolves and other animals during the nesting season. Males defend the nest by standing guard nearby while the female incubates the eggs and broods the young. When a predator approaches both parents will dive-bomb (even wolves!) and try to distract them away from the nest.
- The Snowy Owl is also known as the Arctic Owl or Great White Owl. A group of owls has many different names, including a bazaar, glaring, parliament, stooping and a wisdom of owls.
- The breeding range of the Snowy Owl is circumpolar, ranging across the northern regions of Greenland, Scandinavia, Russia, Alaskia and Canada.
- Polar bears have black skin and although their fur appears white, it is actually transparent.
- It is the largest carnivore (meat eater) that lives on land. Polar bears spend most of their time at sea.
- Polar bears use sea ice as a platform to hunt seals.
- Seals make up most of a polar bears diet.
- Male polar bears can weigh up to 680 kg (1500 lb). Female polar bears usually only weigh about half as much as males.
- Polar bears have 42 teeth.
- The scientific name for the polar bear is ‘ursus maritimus’.
- Polar bears keep warm thanks to nearly 10 cm of blubber under the skin.
- Polar bears have an excellent sense of smell, with the ability to detect seals nearly a mile away (1.6 km).
- Polar bears can reach speeds up to 40 kph (25 mph) on land and 10 kph (6 mph) in water.
- They belong to the same family as the blue whale, fin whale, Bryde’s whale, sei whale and minke whale.
- The females are bigger than the males: from 45-50 feet to the males’ 40-48.
- Humpbacks feed on krill, small shrimp-like animals, and small fish and eat up to 1.5 tons of food a day.
- Baleen plates, not teeth, trap their food to be swallowed.
- Humpbacks are acrobatic, breeching their 40 tons completely out of the water.
- They sing, and their songs are complex with each population singing its own unique song.
- Their songs are not inborn – they learn them from each other.
- The are capable or migrating the globe, from Antartica to the Pacific.
- They breed, give birth and care for their newborn calves in the warm waters of Tonga.
- If you want the best pictures of them, you’ll need a wide angle lens and will need to learn how to safely swim close to them.