Winters in the tundra last for 42 to 46 weeks a year, leaving only a six to 10 week summer. During the winter, the temperature drops to 50 degrees below zero, with the short summers never hovering above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually the summers are just long and warm enough for the ground to thaw and a few plants to grow.
Although not many organisms can survive in the tundra, a few live and flourish. For instance, lichens and mosses are the dominant plant life in the tundra with the occasional shrub dotting the landscape. These plants grow low in groups to protect themselves from freezing winds. They also have a short growing and reproduction season.
There are also many animals that live in the tundra, from lemmings and hares to caribou and polar bears. Polar bears live off of the fat of other animals, such as the blubber from whales and seals. Wolves and foxes survive by feeding on caribou, lemmings and hares, which in turn live on the scant plant life.Learn more about Earth Science