The polar bear, Arctic fox, Arctic hare, caribou/reindeer, musk ox, and wolverine are among the animals that live in the Arctic.
Pictures and information on a variety of Arctic creatures can be found on this page.
The Arctic is home to a wide range of species, despite its reputation as one of Earth’s most harsh environments. Many of the creatures on this list are capable of surviving in either the frozen Arctic tundra or in the frigid seas that surround the North Pole, thanks to their unique adaptations.
Animal adaptations to life in the Arctic include:
- During the winter (when it helps to camouflage against the snow) and the summer (when it helps to camouflage against rocky tundra), fur changes color with the seasons.;
- to provide insulation, body fat is layered in layers.
- Between feeding and breeding grounds, seasonal migration occurs.
- During the coldest months of the year, animals go into hibernation.
- Because of its huge size, it has a limited surface area through which heat may be lost;
Small extremities (ears, nose, and so on) through which heat may dissipate.
Not just species residing inside the Arctic Circle, but also those residing in the subarctic (the region immediately south of the Arctic Circle), are included in this list of Arctic creatures.
Arctic Animals List
A list of Arctic animals with pictures and facts. Click on the pictures or follow the links for further information about an animal.
For surviving in the Arctic, the Arctic Fox has several adaptations. Its thick coat, which ranges from brown in the summer to white in the winter, is the most obvious of these features. The fox’s coat keeps it warm while also concealing it.
Arctic Ground Squirrel
In Alaska, Canada, and Russia, this little Arctic rodent may be found. It hibernates in a burrow to endure the harsh northern winter.
In reality, the hibernation period of the Arctic ground squirrel is one of the longest, stretching from two-thirds to three-quarters of the year!
The nose and ears of Arctic Hares are smaller than those of other hares, allowing heat to be retained in these poorly insulated regions. They have 20% more fat than other hares.
They do, however, continue to move at regular speeds despite the added insulation. These quick lagomorphs* can reach speeds of up to 60 km/h (40 mph)!
The animal group that includes hares, rabbits, and pikas is known as Lagomorpha. Lagomorphs are members of this order.
One of nature’s true travelers is the Arctic Tern. These amazing birds spend more daylight hours than any other creature and have two Summers every year, flying over 19,000 kilometers each year.
The Arctic Wolf, which lives in Canada’s frozen north, is one of our favorite animals on the Arctic creatures list. The North-Western Wolf (another wolf subspecies) is bigger than this Grey Wolf subspecies, with narrower features.
The Arctic wolf is the same species as your house dog, whether you believe it or not! Grey wolves, Canis lupus, are a subspecies of domestic dogs and Arctic wolves.
The Arctic Wolf has been persecuted by humans less than other wolves due to its arctic habitat.
The national emblem of the United States is the Bald Eagle, which is also the national bird. It may be found in a range of environments across North America, from Canada to northern Mexico, not just in the Arctic.
The genus Haliaeetus, often known as ‘sea eagles,’ contains the bald eagle. The bald eagle’s diet primarily consists of fish.
Russia, North America, and Greenland are all home to the beluga whale. It’s a sociable animal that lives in tiny groups of 10 individuals or fewer.
While swimming beneath the Arctic ice, the white color of the beluga whale serves as camouflage.
Caribou / Reindeer
Reindeer, particularly in Europe, are also called Caribou. Enlarged chambers in the nose (to warm up the cold Arctic air) and hooves that get both smaller and harder in the winter – providing better grip in the ice and snow – are among the adaptations of these hardy animals for living in a cold-climate.
The longest migration of any land mammal is the caribou herds in North America.
Subarctic regions of Alaska and Canada are home to the Dall Sheep. It is a great climber that thrives in rocky, mountainous areas.
Ermine / Stoat
The weasel family includes the Stoat, also known as the Ermine. (The term “ermine” is occasionally used to refer to the animal when it is in its white winter coat.)
While being little, stoats are capable of hunting animals (such as rabbits) that are considerably larger than themselves. Rather than digging their own burrows, stoats will often live in their victims’.
The enigmatic Greenland Sharks of the Arctic are a mystery. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) of the United States took this picture. For more information on this animal, click the image.
Greenland sharks are the most northern of all shark species, endemic to the North Atlantic Ocean between Canada and Greenland. Greenland sharks are sluggish swimmers who prefer to prey on snoozing animals. They also eat leftovers from other predators’ meals.
After three days, the harp seal’s coat turns white. The animal gets silvery-grey as it grows older.
To keep themselves warm, harp seals have a thick layer of blubber. In the summer, their flippers work as heat exchangers, while in the winter, they work as heat exchangers.
Lemmings are tiny rodents with a long, silky coat. Grasses, roots, and leaves are the main sources of nutrition for them. During the winter, lemmings are active instead of dormant. Before the winter, they collect grasses and burrow beneath the snow to find food.
The largest member of the deer family is moose. Alaska, Canada, Russia, and Scandinavia are where you’ll find these big-antlered creatures. Moose are solitary creatures that do not reside in herds, making them unique among deer.
Moose can be nimble and aggressive when startled or enraged, despite their normal sluggishness.
The male Musk Ox creates a musky smell to entice females during the mating season, giving the species its name. Musk Oxen have a thick fur coat that keeps them warm. Long, curving horns are seen on both males and females.
The long tusk that protrudes from the front of Narwhals’ heads is one of the main identifying characteristics of these medium-sized whales. An expanded front tooth is what the tusk really is. The entire year, Narwhals reside in the arctic seas surrounding Russia, Greenland, and Canada.
The toothed whale is a dolphin family member that is also known as the killer whale. The backs of orcas are black, and the chest and eye patches are white. Orcas hunt other marine creatures in packs and feed on them. Orcas are the top predators, with no natural predators.
The polar bear is an important part of any arctic animals list. Marine mammals such as polar bears. They can swim long distances in chilly seas and are swift movers on land as well. The biggest bear is the polar bear.
Ptarmigans’ white plumage during the winter allows them to blend in with the snow. Throughout the summer, ptarmigans eat fruit and berries, and in the winter, they forage for food. ‘Rock ptarmigans’ and ‘snow chickens’ are two names for the same thing.
Puffins, with their little wings that propel them through both water and air, are birds designed for swimming as well as flying.
Puffins have vividly colored beaks and black and white feathers. They spend the majority of their time at sea, but every few months, they gather on cliffs to form breeding colonies.
The most prevalent seal in the Arctic is the ringed seal. It has a tiny, cat-like head and a fat body, making it one of the world’s smallest seal species.
The coat of the ringed seal is brown with silver rings on the back and sides, giving it its name. Little fish are prey for the ringed seal.
The largest mustelids (weasel family, Mustelidae) are sea otters, but they are one of the smallest marine creatures. Sea otters spend more time in the water than on land because of their thick fur coats for insulation.
Snow geese migrate south during the winter after raising their young in northern North America and Canada at the start of summer.
During their migration, snow geese frequently rest in crop fields to feed. For digging roots out of the ground, their bills were modified.
During the summer, the snowshoe hare’s coat is brown, but during the winter, it becomes white. Year-round camouflage is provided by this.
The large, hairy-soled hind foot gives the species its name. They’re designed to keep the hare out of the snow.
The large tusks, lengthy whiskers, and short flippers of the walrus make it easily identifiable. These enormous, heavy creatures were formerly hunted for meat and fat. In order to safeguard the species, this practice has now been outlawed.
The wolverine has a well-deserved reputation as a ferocious hunter that isn’t afraid to tackle creatures bigger than itself. The wolverine belongs to the weasel (mustelidae) family, just like the sea otter (see above).
Arctic Animals List: Conclusion
This list of Arctic animals is meant to be enjoyed.
Why not learn more about the Arctic itself after meeting the region’s wildlife?