There’s another kind of tundra on the top of very tall mountains – this is called alpine tundra. The ground isn’t always frozen there, so small shrubs can grow as well as grasses and moss.
Plants and vegetation in tundra includes:
- Small flowers
Animals and fish that you’ll find in arctic habitats include:
- Arctic fox
- Arctic hare
- Beluga whale
- Polar bear
- Snowy owl
Animals you’ll find in Antarctica include:
- Krill (food for sea animals)
Insects in the Arctic habitat include:
- Arctic bumble bees
The rising temperatures on the Earth due to global warming mean that it’s changing the climate and terrain of polar habitats. Conditions that animals are used to and have adapted to are changing, which is making it more difficult for them to survive. For example, polar bears are an endangered species //crosslink to animal conservation// because the ice in the Arctic is melting – they rely on ice to get around.
Words to know:
Hibernation – a deep sleep that animals take during cold months; they don’t need to eat much or to be too warm, so hibernating helps them survive times when it’s very, very cold in the winter
Iceberg – a big lump of ice that has broken off from the polar ice cap and floated away; Icebergs are very dangerous for ships
Ice shelf/ice sheet – a thick layer of ice on top of land
Tundra – a region without any trees, and where subsoil is always frozen (the soil below topsoil); topsoil will defrost just enough for lichen, moss and some grasses to grow
Pack ice – areas where there are lots of bits of ice floating in the ocean; you get this when the edges of the polar ice cap melt in the summer
Permafrost – soil that is always frozen; tundra has a layer of permafrost underneath it
Polar ice cap – an area in the very middle of the North and South Poles that is always frozen; it ‘caps’ the top and bottom of the Earth
Sea ice – an area around the poles where the sea has frozen solid; the edges melt in the summer and freeze again in the winter
Tundra (Artic) Habitat
Where is the Tundra Habitat?
The tundra habitat is at the top of the world, near the North Pole.
How much of the earth is Tundra?
About one fifth of the earth's land is Tundra
What is the ground like?
The ground is permanently frozen 10 inches to 3 feet (25 to 100 cm) down so that trees can't grow there
How do plants grow on the solid ground?
The bare and sometimes rocky ground can only support low growing plants like mosses, heaths, and lichen. During the brief summers, the top section of the soil may thaw out allowing plants and microorganisms to grow and reproduce. However, these plants and microorganisms become dormant during the cold winter months.
Is there another type of Tundra other than artic tundra?
Yes, it is called alpine tundra and is found on the tops of tall, cold mountains.
How do animals survive in this habitat?
Animals are adapted to handle cold winters and to breed and raise young quickly in the very short and cool summers. Find out more....
What living things are found in the Tundra?
lemmings, voles, caribou, arctic hares and squirrels
arctic foxes, wolves, and polar bears
ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, ravens, sandpipers, terns, snow birds, and various species of gulls
mosquitoes, flies, moths, grasshoppers, blackflies and arctic bumble bees
cod, flatfish, salmon, and trout