Biology Final Project: Arctic Foxes and Polar Bears by Savannah Calado on Prezi
Arctic Foxes are native to the cold Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They have a circumpolar range, meaning they can be found. This bear, which was three-fourths grizzly and one-fourth polar bear, can be seen at the But as the Arctic warms, sea ice is shrinking and the tundra is expanding. this “new” bear relationship as more beneficial to grizzlies than polar bears. They don't hibernate, and they don't travel south of the tundra. The natural hues allow the animal to blend into the tundra's ubiquitous snow and ice. Spotlighting foxes, wolves, hares, owls, and even a polar bear, these.
Male narwhals will sometimes cross their tusks, a behavior called "tusking". There are roughlyof them swimming in the Arctic today. A large portion of narwhals lives in Baffin Bay, which is the body of water between the northeastern coast of Canada and Greenland. Smaller populations live off the eastern coast of Greenland as well. In the winter narwhals live offshore among the ice floes, but in the summer, when the ice melts, they migrate towards the shore and congregate in summering grounds.
They live and travel in pods that range in size from a few narwhals to several hundred individuals, but in the summertime, the congregations can be in the thousands. Females, young, and immature males live together and adult males live in their own pods. A narwhal is a toothed whale and is closely related to dolphins, porpoises, and orcas.
The famous tusk is actually a specialized tooth that protrudes out of the left lip, and in rare cases, a narwhal can have two. The longest tusks can reach over eight feet long 2. While all males have a tusk, only 15 percent of females have a tusk, leading scientists to believe it has a role in sexual selection. Understanding the function of the tusk is an ongoing area of investigation. They are some of the deepest diving whales with a record dive around 5, feet 1, meters —over a mile deep!
Traveling at such depths where there is intense pressure requires a few special adaptations, including a compressible rib cage and streamlined body. They are also excellent at conserving oxygen—their muscles are built to minimize oxygen use and simultaneously can carry large amounts of oxygen.
During the deepest dives, a narwhal can shut off oxygen flow to unessential organs and instead divert it to where it is needed most. Arctic Cod Arctic cod have a special protein that keeps their blood from freezing in ice cold waters. Arctic Cod can live in water that is cooler than the freezing point of blood. Like the Antarctic ice fish, they have an antifreeze protein that keeps their blood flowing. Arctic Cod are critical players in the Arctic food web. They eat small crustaceans, such as amphipods and copepods.
And in turn, Arctic Cod are food for seabirds and many marine mammals. Southern Ocean Emperor Penguins Emperor penguins are the largest of the penguin species and can grow to be pounds. Among the hardiest of the polar creatures, the male emperor penguin is the only animal that remains throughout the winter on the Antarctic continent.
The male penguins huddle together and keep the egg warm by balancing it on their feet and covering it with their skin. They take turns moving into the center of the crowd to warm up and then trading places with a penguin on the cold perimeter. Icefish Fish have certain adaptations, like blood with built-in antifreeze, to survive in the Antarctic.
They have no hemoglobin —the oxygen-carrying protein that makes red blood cells red. In the absence of hemoglobin the gills of ice fish appear white. The ice fish instead have special blood that contains proteins that act like antifreeze. Weddell Seals Weddell seals grind their teeth on holes in the ice to keep them open to their comings and goings between ocean and air.
They inhabit the "fast ice"—sea ice that is attached to the shore. These seals do not migrate and are commonly found within a few miles of their birthplace. When sleeping and resting, Weddell seals may remain in the same spot for hours, melting a hollow in the ice underneath them with their own body heat.
Swimming under the ice they can dive as deep as meters feet and attack prey, such as small fish, from below. The fish above are backlit by the ice above and easily spotted in silhouette.
Weddell seals are very vocal and have a large repertoire of sounds. Recent studies in the Ross Sea suggest the loud vocalizations may be used to stun prey. More than 11, kilometers miles separate the Arctic from the Southern Ocean. So scientists thought only a few species would live in both places until researchers taking part in the Census of Marine Life found over species that appeared to live in both polar seas, including cold-water worms, crustaceans, sea cucumbers and pteropod snails.
But, further genetic testing proved that they were in fact, not the same species and that the miles between do make a difference. Some animals make fantastically long migrations, moving from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again every year, living an endless polar summer.
It has the longest migration of all birds, flying from breeding grounds near the North Pole to wintering grounds off Antarctica. That's a journey of about 40, km 25, milesoften made in less than four months. Makes you feel tired just thinking about it. Orcas Three distinct types of killer whale can be found in the Antarctic, each with a different habitat and diet preference. Orcas stay put in their distinctive ecosystems, and there are different characteristics of the groups or pods in various locations.
Arctic fox - Wikipedia
All orcas are currently considered to be the same species, although there is some thought that they might be different species among the pods in Antarctica, or at least subspecies pdf. They are the largest of the dolphins, and powerful predators.
Orcas travel in pods of up to 40 related individuals. These pods act like wolf packs - working together to take down prey, including seals and larger whales. Orcas communicate through a wide range of sounds, and each pod has an audio signature that members can recognize from far away.
Krill and Copepods This copepod Calanus hyperboreus up to 7mm in length lives in the Arcticusually within meters of the surface. At both poles, tiny animals, called zooplankton, are near the base of the food chain.
They eat the photosynthesizing phytoplankton and in turn are food for fish, seabirds and marine mammals. In the Southern Ocean, Antarctic krill swim in dense schools of 20, animals per cubic yardcubic feet.
Polar Bears and Climate Change: Symbiosis of Polar Bears
In an amazing feat of synchronized swimming, they use a staggered formation so that no krill swims directly in another's wake. That way they avoid turbulence. In the Arctic Ocean, different species of copepods have different life cycles and eating patterns and they are important sources of food for larger organisms. Scientists are just beginning to understand who eats whom in the polar oceans.
Threats to the Poles Climate Change This graph of the Arctic sea ice coverage shows how close the year is to reaching a record-low. The graph contains data through September 7, The National Snow and Ice Data Centerwhich produced the graph, says we should know within a couple weeks if the ice extent drops below the previous record which was set in Atmospheric carbon dioxide has been rising for more than a century, with large contributions from the fossil fuels used to power our homes, businesses, and cars.
These increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are trapping heat and taking a toll on the planet, especially at the poles where the largest increases in temperature will occur. Global temperatures have increased since the s, and sea ice has been decreasing in extent and thickness. While details concerning the extent of future impacts of climate change are the subject of debate, the Arctic is experiencing those changes today.
In years past, thicker ice was about 40 percent of total ice cover. Some areas of the Arctic Ocean, like the Barent Sea north of Scandinavia, are warming so quickly that they are being taken over by Atlantic waters. The Arctic Ocean is characterized by a layer of cold, fresh water at its surface, a product of the floating ice. Since the ice has disappeared the warmer, saltier Atlantic water is able to move northward. Exactly how climate change will affect the Arctic is hard to predict.
Polar bears, who rely on sea ice to reach seals for their winter meals, will have less time to reach their food source as the ice declines and breaks up earlier in the season. For people who live in the Arctic, weather and hunting grounds are becoming more unpredictable.
Knowledge of the environment that has served generations is being defied by a changing climate. Many northern communities have also observed coastal erosion and watched the permafrost—ground that used to be frozen all year—melting and buckling under their homes and roads. An ice-free Arctic could mean a new trade route—a Northwest Passage connecting Europe to Asia - bypassing both the Panama and Suez canals. An ice-free Arctic also opens up possibilities for drilling for oil and gas.
Russia has already staked a claimusing submarines to plant a flag on the Arctic Ocean floor. Unlike the Antarctic, which is governed in part by a multinational treatythere is no treaty currently for the Arctic polar region.
In certain regions of the Antarctic, sea ice cover is actually growing. But, overall the land- and fresh-water based ice continues to shrink. A study found that Another study published in the same year found that the rate of Antarctic ice melt has tripled in the last five years. Crabs that have stayed out of Antarctic waters for millions of years because of the cold may invade and prey on animals that have no defense against their strong claws.
And it is not just temperatures that are changing due to the increases in carbon dioxide. Small shelled creatures, like pteropods, which are important food sources for fish and larger animals, are already losing their shells in the Antarctic due to ocean acidification.
These dens may be in existence for many decades and are used by many generations of foxes. The Arctic fox builds and chooses dens that face southward towards the sun, which makes the den warmer. Arctic foxes prefer large, maze-like dens for predator evasion and a quick escape especially when red foxes are in the area.
Natal dens are typically found in rugged terrain, which may provide more protection for the pups. But, the parents will also relocate litters to nearby dens to avoid predators.
When red foxes are not in the region, Arctic foxes will use dens that the red fox previously occupied. Shelter quality is more important to the Arctic fox than the proximity of spring prey to a den.
Litters may contain as many as 25 the largest litter size in the order Carnivora. When predators and prey are abundant, Arctic foxes are more likely to be promiscuous exhibited in both males and females and display more complex social structures. Larger packs of foxes consisting of breeding or non-breeding males or females can guard a single territory more proficiently to increase pup survival. When resources are scarce, competition increases and the number of foxes in a territory decreases.
On the coasts of Svalbard, the frequency of complex social structures is larger than inland foxes that remain monogamous due to food availability. In Scandinavia, there are more complex social structures compared to other populations due to the presence of the red fox.
Also, conservationists are supplying the declining population with supplemental food. One unique case, however, is Iceland where monogamy is the most prevalent.
The older offspring 1-year-olds often remain within their parent's territory even though predators are absent and there are fewer resources, which may indicate kin selection in the fox. They scavenge on carcasses left by larger predators such as wolves and polar bearsand in times of scarcity even eat their feces.
In areas where they are present, lemmings are their most common prey,  and a family of foxes can eat dozens of lemmings each day. In some locations in northern Canada, a high seasonal abundance of migrating birds that breed in the area may provide an important food source.
On the coast of Iceland and other islands, their diet consists predominantly of birds. During April and May, the Arctic fox also preys on ringed seal pups when the young animals are confined to a snow den and are relatively helpless. They also consume berries and seaweed, so they may be considered omnivores. Arctic foxes survive harsh winters and food scarcity by either hoarding food or storing body fat. Fat is deposited subcutaneously and viscerally in Arctic foxes.
At the beginning of winter, the foxes have approximately kJ of energy storage from fat alone.