Biome plant and animal passages.doc

Biome plant and animal passages.doc - Arctic Tundra Animals...

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Arctic Tundra: Animals Not many kinds of animals live year-round in the Arctic tundra. Most birds and mammals only use the tundra as a summer home. Mammals that do live year-round in the tundra include the muskox, Arctic wolf, and brown bear; and each has its own way of adapting to the extreme climatic conditions. Animals need to find ways to stay warm and to provide nourishment for themselves in order to survive the long, cold, winter months. Animal adaptations Migration and hibernation are examples of behavioural adaptations used by animals in the Arctic tundra. The fact that many animals do not live year- round in the tundra means they leave or migrate for a length of time to warmer climates. Hibernation is a combination of behavioural and physical adaptations. For example, during the summer the brown bear's behaviour is to eat just about anything it can find; then it hibernates, or sleeps, during the winter. The bear's physical adaptation allows the food eaten during the summer to be stored as a layer of fat underneath its skin. The layer of fat insulates the bear from the cold. While in hibernation the fat is slowly converted into energy that maintains life. A physical adaptation used by the Musk Ox is the growth of two layers of fur--one short and the other long. Air is trapped in the short layer of fur and is warmed by body heat. The warmed air, trapped close to the body, acts as insulation from the cold. The layer of long fur protects the Musk Ox from the wind and water. In addition to thick layers of fur, the Musk Ox relies on another physical adaptation to help it survive. The hooves of the Musk Ox are large and hard. During the winter months, this adaptation allows the Musk Ox to break the ice and drink the water underneath
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Arctic Tundra: Plants Plants need warmth and sunlight to grow and reproduce. In the Arctic tundra, warmth and sunlight are in short supply, even in the summer. The ground is frequently covered with snow until June, and the Sun is always low in the sky. Only plants with shallow root systems grow in the Arctic tundra because the permafrost prevents plants from sending their roots down past the active layer of soil. The active layer of soil is free from ice for only 50 to 90 days. Arctic plants have a very short growing season. However, in spite of the severe conditions and the short growing season, there are approximately 1,700 kinds of plants that live in the Arctic tundra. Some of the plants that live in the Arctic tundra include mosses, lichens, low-growing shrubs, and grasses--but no trees. In fact, "tundra" is a Finnish word which means "treeless". Plant Adaptations Growing close together and low to the ground are some of the adaptations that plants use to survive. This growing pattern helps the plant resist the effects of cold temperatures and reduce the damage caused by the impact of tiny particles of ice and snow that are driven by the dry winds.
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  • Summer '15
  • Wilson
  • Arctic tundra

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