Weekly Warm-Up: Arctic Adaptations

February 27 is International Polar Bear Day!

Every year, this day draws attention to the challenges faced by polar bears and other animals in a warming Arctic. What better time to learn about the amazing adaptations of Arctic animals? (And alliteration, apparently.)

Photo by Vadim Balakin.
Photo by Vadim Balakin, National Geographic Your Shot

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 Arctic 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, National Geographic Your Shot

 

2011-07-03_1149629 Subscriber-false Marketing-false Newsletter-false RegYSNewsletter-false MicroTransactions-true
Photograph by Michelle Valberg, National Geographic Your Shot

 

2013-02-16_1534537 Subscriber-false Marketing-false Newsletter-false RegYSNewsletter-true MicroTransactions-false
Photograph by David Schultz, National Geographic Your Shot

 

2013-02-17_1535489 Subscriber-false Marketing-true Newsletter-false RegYSNewsletter-false MicroTransactions-false
Photograph by Karl Umbriaco, National Geographic Your Shot

One thought on “Weekly Warm-Up: Arctic Adaptations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.