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ANIMAL LIFE IN ARCTIC TUNDRA

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Georgie Gellos

on 1 January 2014

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Transcript of ANIMAL LIFE IN ARCTIC TUNDRA

Animal Life in the Arctic Tundra
COLD CLIMATE
:

The average winter temperature in the Tundra is -18 degrees Fahrenheit while the average summer temperature is 37-54 degrees F. In the summer the sun is present almost 24hours a day. In the winter however there are several weeks where the sun never rises causing the extreme temperature drops.
POOR SOIL
:

The poor soil and extreme cold temperatures in
the Arctic Tundra make it hard for plants to grow.
A condition that occurs is called permafrost.
This is when a layer of permanently frozen subsoil
forms at the surface. Each summer this upper layer
melts and creates small ponds and bogs.
There are also no deep root systems in the vegetation.
LOW PRECIPITATION
The average amount of rainfall in the Arctic Tundra ranges from 6-10 inches a year. The majority of this rain occurs in the summer months. Most of this falls as snow. The Arctic is sometimes referred to as a "cold desert."
WHAT ARE THE
NATIVE ANIMALS
AND THEIR ADAPTIVE
TRAITS ?

POLAR
BEAR
WHAT ARE
THE BIOME'S
ABIOTIC FACTORS ?

SNOWY
OWL
WALRUS
The snowy owl can live in the arctic year around due to its warm feathers that cover their body from head to
toe and protects them from the severe weather. Snowy owls have sharp claws which help them catch food.
Their white feathers also camouflage very well in the winter to protect them from other predators.
The walrus have developed strong tusks to break breathing holes in the ice and climb onto the surface. Thick whiskers also help them feel around for krill and fish on the ocean floor. The walrus has many layers of very thick blubber to protect them from the freezing temperatures when swimming in the water. Its flippers are bumpy at the bottom making it easier to grab onto the slick, slippery ice.
Polar Bears have a excellent sense of smell which helps them find and hunt down prey.
They are strong and powerful swimmers which help them catch seals, which is one of their favorite foods.
They are protected with a thick coat of fur and blubber which keeps them warm on land and in the frigid waters.
MUSK
OX
The Musk ox can live in the very harsh conditions of the arctic because of its long hair and woolly undercoat that provides great insulation. It has a sturdy build and looks like a huge dust mop on hooves. When threatened, the Musk ox form a defensive formation and run to a high location. They turn and stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a circle lowering their heads forming an strong, protective wall. Their young are kept safe in the center of the circle.
EXAMPLES OF COOPERATION AND COMPETITION BETWEEN AND AMOUNG SPECIES
An example of competition between animals is the
musk ox and the caribou.
These two animals fight because the musk ox eats sedges and so does the caribou. The musk ox and caribou also fight over territory.

An example of cooperation between two animals is the
arctic fox and the polar bear.
The polar bears do not care if the arctic foxes come and join them on their kill because the polar bears let arctic foxes eat their scraps as long as they don’t get in their way.

Arctic Gulls
have been known to follow polar bears and other predators to feed on the remains of their kills. This is another example of a cooperative relationship. The polar bear has no natural competition because it sits on top of the food chain.
ARCTIC TUNDRA
BACKGROUND
AND FACTUAL
INFORMATION
Four Facts about the Biome
1
The word tundra
comes from the Finnish
word Tunturia which means
treeless land.

3
The Arctic tundra biome
is the largest of all
the biomes. It covers about
20% of the Earth.
2
The Arctic tundra is found almost entirely in the Northern hemisphere.
It falls between two other major biomes, the taiga and ice caps.
4
With global temperatures on
the rise the tundra is beginning to undergo major changes.
Scientists believe increasing greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere will cause global warming which will damage the Arctic more than any other biome.

UNIQUE
CHARACTERISTICS
ABOUT THE
ARCTIC BIOME
There are two different
types of Tundra the,
Polar Tundra and Arctic Tundra.
The Polar Tundra is found close to the earth's poles and the Arctic Tundra is found above
the tree level in high
mountain ranges.
The Arctic Tundra also has days known as
White Nights.
White Nights are when the sun drops just below the horizon, giving the Arctic landscape a little bit of light. It's like a constant twilight, and many communities around the area have festivals for these type of days.
The Arctic, just like Antarctica, in the
coldest region on the planet.
It is known in having cold and long winters, as well short cool summers.
Due to the the extreme temperatures in the Arctic Tundra, most organisms get their nutrients from other decaying organisms.
The Arctic tundra biome has
over
400 varieties of flowers
but
only a variety of
48 different animals.

This amount consists of herbivores
and carnivores. Many of these
animals hibernate during the
winter because food is scarce.
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OTHER INTERESTING
FACTS WITH PICTURES
The food chain for the Arctic Tundra is relatively small because there aren't many things that live there. The food chain begins with plants and grasses as the primary producers. These plants and grasses are eaten by insects, lemmings, and the musk ox. The insects and lemmings are then eaten by the Arctic fox and the snowy owl, who are in turn eaten by the large predators such as the polar bear and the white wolf. The polar bear and white wolf are endangered by man.
The polar bear is one of the largest most endangered species in the world. Due to global warming the ice in the Arctic is melting and the weather is getting warmer. Researches estimate that there are between 22,000 and
40, 000 polar bears in the world. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that 25% of the Arctic sea ice has disappeared in the past 30 years and scientists estimate that polar bears will probably be extinct in the next 25 years.
By Georgiana Gellos, class 603
1
2
Oil spills can affect wildlife and plants in the Arctic Tundra in three major ways:
• If oil collects on the feathers or fur of animals they are unable to keep as warm.
• Contamination from taking in and absorbing harmful toxins found in oil.
• The food chain can become disturbed when prey or other food sources become unavailable.
3
PROTECTING THE BIOME'S FUTURE
The WWF's Global Arctic Program has been working with partners across the Arctic to fight against threats to the Arctic and to preserve its different diversity in a continuous way.

THE ARCTIC COUNCIL:
The Arctic Council is a high-level governmental gathering that provides a mechanism to address the common concerns and challenges faced by the Arctic governments and the people of the Arctic

POLAR BEAR TRACKER:
With the help of polar bear researchers, WWF is following the bears' travels in the Arctic. Their positions are beamed from collars on the bears’ necks to a website . It allows scientists to get regular updates about how the polar bears behave in their arctic environment and how they may be affected by climate change.
thank you
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