Arctic Adaptations

The Arctic is home to life that exists nowhere else on Earth. Polar bears, narwhals, bowhead whales and other creatures that are able to live and thrive in the harsh climate of the Arctic because of their biological or behavioral adaptations.

Use this hands-on activity to teach your students about animal adaptations.

After the activity, students should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What makes the environment so harsh and seemingly inhospitable? (thick ice; freezing temperatures; dark waters)
  • What animals live in this environment? (polar bears, ringed seals, beluga whales, narwhals, bowhead whales, Arctic birds, walruses)
  • What threatens Arctic animal life? How? (global warming; by melting the ice and snow animals and people depend on)

Find the full activity here: Arctic Adaptations

For further discussion:

When students have completed the activity, ask them to apply the same critical thinking to the animals below. Have these animals specially adapted to an extremely cold environment? How have they adapted? How do those adaptations help them to survive?

2009-10-23_0652823   Subscriber-false   Marketing-false   Newsletter-false   RegYSNewsletter-true  MicroTransactions-false

Photograph by: David Schultz, MyShot

2011-07-03_1149629   Subscriber-false   Marketing-false   Newsletter-false   RegYSNewsletter-false  MicroTransactions-true

Photograph by: Michelle Valberg, MyShot

2013-02-16_1534537   Subscriber-false   Marketing-false   Newsletter-false   RegYSNewsletter-true  MicroTransactions-false

Photograph by: David Schultz, MyShot

2013-02-17_1535489   Subscriber-false   Marketing-true   Newsletter-false   RegYSNewsletter-false  MicroTransactions-false

Photograph by: Karl Umbriaco, MyShot

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