Which Animals Live in Tundras?


Quick Answer

Typical animals found in the tundra biome include caribous, lemmings, voles, squirrels, arctic hares, arctic foxes, wolves, musk oxen, brown bears, polar bears, killer whales, beluga whales, sea lions, seals, walruses, ermines, reindeer, moose, snowshoe rabbits, moths, grasshoppers, salmon, trout, cod, pikas, marmots, mountain goats, beetles, sheep, elks and butterflies. Tundras are also home to a variety of bird species, including arctic loons, long-eared owls, rose breasted grosbeaks, bald eagles, golden eagles, gyrfalcon, king penguins, rockhopper penguins, emperor penguins, snow gooses and snowy owls.

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Full Answer

The tundra biome is primarily characterized by its excessively cold temperatures with a mean winter temperature of -30 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes this biotic community the coldest among all other biomes on Earth. Tundra is also distinguished from other regions due to its low diversity of flora and fauna, minimal precipitation, short planting and harvest periods, presence of permafrost and limited food supply. As a result of these extreme conditions, tundra animals develop adaptations to survive the harsh environments.

Land animals found in the tundra biome, such as the musk ox, generally have thick fur, hair, fleece or wool to provide insulation against the cold climate. Some animals that are unable to withstand the biting temperatures only live in the tundra during summertime. Migratory birds, such as ravens, snow buntings, falcons, sandpipers, terns and snow birds, leave the biome during the winter season. Bears also hibernate and sleep during wintertime to escape the cold.

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