Arctic animals are animals that have adapted to the extreme environmental conditions of the arctic biome located near the North Pole. Known for its cold, wind, snow, and ice, the Arctic Circle is further categorized into two distinct zones: the High Arctic Zone, closest to the North Pole with very little animal or plant life, and the Low Arctic Zone with slightly warmer temperatures that support the majority of arctic life. In response to the environment, many arctic animals have developed specific survival strategies that include growing thicker coats, camouflaging, hibernating, or migrating away.

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Arctic Animals

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Polar Bear
Comparison illustration of the size of a Polar Bear to an average human man

Polar bears are bears that are native to the Arctic Circle and the areas that surround it. Uniquely adapted to survive in the region, polar bears have bodies that are both resistant to the cold temperatures and allow for quick movement across ice and open water. Polar bears primarily hunt for seals along the edges of ice patches. Today, as their arctic habitats continue to be lost due to climate change, polar bears have become a species that is increasingly vulnerable.

Male Polar Bears have a shoulder height between 3’7”-5’3” (1.09-1.6 m) and a weight in the range of 775-1500 lb (352-680 kg). The shoulder heights of females are between 2’8”-3’11” (.81-1.19 m) with weights from 330-650 lb (150-295 kg). The Polar Bear has an overall body length of roughly 7’10”-9’10” (2.4-3 m), standing height of 8’-10’ (2.5-3.05 m), and a typical lifespan of 20-30 years in the wild and up to 45 years in captivity.

Drawing of a Polar Bear from the side with dimensions for length and height
Polar bears are bears that are native to the Arctic Circle and the areas that surround it. Uniquely adapted to survive in the region, polar bears have bodies that are both resistant to the cold temperatures and allow for quick movement across ice and open water.

Male Polar Bears have a shoulder height between 3’7”-5’3” (1.09-1.6 m) and a weight in the range of 775-1500 lb (352-680 kg). The shoulder heights of females are between 2’8”-3’11” (.81-1.19 m) with weights from 330-650 lb (150-295 kg). The Polar Bear has an overall body length of roughly 7’10”-9’10” (2.4-3 m), standing height of 8’-10’ (2.5-3.05 m), and a typical lifespan of 20-30 years in the wild and up to 45 years in captivity.

Drawing of a Polar Bear from the side with dimensions for length and height
Polar Bear
Height:
2’8”-5’3” | .81-1.6 m
Width:
Length:
7’10”-9’10” | 2.4-3 m
Depth:
Standing Height
8’-10’ | 2.5-3.05 m
Weight:
330-1500 lb | 150-680 kg
Area:

Males:
Height (Shoulder): 3’7”-5’3” | 1.09-1.6 m
Length: 8’6”-9’10” | 2.6-3 m
Weight: 775-1500 lb | 352-680 kg

Females:
Height (Shoulder): 2’8”-3’11” | .81-1.19 m
Length: 7’10”-9’2” | 2.4-2.8 m
Weight: 330-650 lb | 150-295 kg

Scientific Name
Ursus maritimus
Lifespan
20-30 years (wild); up to 45 years (captivity)

Drawings include:
Polar Bear side (standing), front (standing), front (sitting), side (lying down), plan

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Chinstrap Penguin
Size comparison illustration of a Chinstrap Penguin compared to the height of a person

The Chinstrap Penguin acquires its name from its appearance, a narrow black band of feathers under its head, making it appear as if it were wearing a black helmet. Due to its large harsh call, its other names include ringed penguin, bearded penguin, and stonecracker penguin. The Chinstrap Penguin avoids detection from predators through countershading camouflage with its black back and white underside.  Further, its tightly packed feathers provide a waterproof coat that allow it to swim in freezing waters. The species has a circumpolar distribution, and they breed in Antarctica, Argentina, Bouvet Island, Chile, the Falkand Islands, the Fresh Southern Territories, and South Georgia.

The Chinstrap Penguin has an average height range of 27”-30” (68-76 cm), weight of 7-12 lb (3.2-5.3 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Collection of illustrations of Chinstrap Penguins in multiple positions from standing to walking
The Chinstrap Penguin acquires its name from its appearance, a narrow black band of feathers under its head, making it appear as if it were wearing a black helmet. Due to its large harsh call, its other names include ringed penguin, bearded penguin, and stonecracker penguin.

The Chinstrap Penguin has an average height range of 27”-30” (68-76 cm), weight of 7-12 lb (3.2-5.3 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Collection of illustrations of Chinstrap Penguins in multiple positions from standing to walking
Chinstrap Penguin
Height:
27”-30” | 68-76 cm
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
7-12 lb | 3.2-5.3 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Pygoscelis antarcticus
Lifespan
15-20 years

Drawings include:
Chinstrap Penguin standing (side), standing (back), walking (front), standing (front), jumping (side), standing (winter woman)

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Macaroni Penguin
Dimensioned size comparison illustration of a Macaroni Penguin compared to the height of an average standing woman

The Macaroni Penguin is one of the six species of crested penguin, closely related to the Royal Penguin.  The species can be found from the Sub Antarctic to the Antarctic Peninsula. Macaroni penguins consume more marine life annually than any other seabird species, with a diet that consists mostly of crustaceans, such as krill, and small fish. They are distinguished by their yellow crest and the sharp delineation of their white underparts to their black upperparts and face. Since the mid-1970s the macaroni penguin is classified as under a vulnerable conservation status.

The Macaroni Penguin has an average height range of 24”-27” (61-69 cm), weight of 7-14 lb (3.2-6.4 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Collection of illustrations of the Macaroni Penguin in a range of postures viewed from the front, back and side
The Macaroni Penguin is one of the six species of crested penguin, closely related to the Royal Penguin. Macaroni penguins consume more marine life annually than any other seabird species, with a diet that consists mostly of crustaceans, such as krill, and small fish.

The Macaroni Penguin has an average height range of 24”-27” (61-69 cm), weight of 7-14 lb (3.2-6.4 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Collection of illustrations of the Macaroni Penguin in a range of postures viewed from the front, back and side
Macaroni Penguin
Height:
24”-27” | 61-69 cm
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
7-14 lb | 3.2-6.4 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Eudyptes chrysolophus
Lifespan
15-20 years

Drawings include:
Macaroni Penguin standing (side), looking (side), standing (back), walking (side), standing (front), standing (winter woman)

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Adélie Penguin
Dimensioned elevation drawing of the Adélie Penguin compared to the height of standing man

The Adélie Penguin is named after Adelie Land who was the wife of Jules Dumont d’Urville, the French explorer who discovered the penguin. The Adélie Penguin is the most wide spread and southernly distributed of all penguin species, with its only habitat is along the coast of the Antarctic continent. The species' distinguishing marks are the white ring that surrounds the penguins’ eye and feathers at the base of the bill, and their appearance resembles a tuxedo. Adélie penguins can swim at around five miles per hour, and they can leap 10 feet out of the water to land on rocks or ice.

The Adélie Penguin has an average height range of 18”-28” (46-71 cm), weight of 8-13 lb (3.6-6 kg), and typical lifespan of 11-20 years.

Drawings of Adélie Penguins in an assortment of postures and stances from standing to walking
The Adélie Penguin is named after Adelie Land who was the wife of Jules Dumont d’Urville, the French explorer who discovered the penguin. The species' distinguishing marks are the white ring that around the penguins’ eye and feathers at the base of the bill, and their appearance resembles a tuxedo.

The Adélie Penguin has an average height range of 18”-28” (46-71 cm), weight of 8-13 lb (3.6-6 kg), and typical lifespan of 11-20 years.

Drawings of Adélie Penguins in an assortment of postures and stances from standing to walking
Adélie Penguin
Height:
18”-28” | 46-71 cm
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
8-13 lb | 3.6-6 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Pygoscelis adeliae
Lifespan
11-20 years

Drawings include:
Adélie Penguin standing (side), looking (side), standing (back), walking (side), standing (front), standing (arctic man)

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Reindeer | Caribou
Scaled drawing comparing the size of a Reindeer (Caribou) to a typical person

Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), known in North America as Caribou, is a species of deer found in the Arctic tundra and neighboring boreal forests of Greenland, Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska, and Canada. Reindeer have been domesticated in Europe and range from two varieties or ecotypes: Tundra Reindeer and Woodland Reindeer.

Tundra Reindeer migrate between the tundra and the forest in large herds of up to half a million that travel as far as 5,000 km on their strong cloven hoofs. Both male and female Reindeer can grow antlers with up to 44 tines for males and half that for females. This is the only deer species that both genders can have antlers.

Reindeer (Caribou) have standing shoulder heights between 2’9”-4’7” (85-140 cm), head-to-body lengths in the range of 3’11”-7’2” (120-220 cm), and overall weights of 132-705 lb (60-320 kg). The lifespan of a wild Reindeer is roughly 15-20 years.

Collection of scaled drawings of the Reindeer (Caribou)
Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), known in North America as Caribou, is a species of deer found in the Arctic tundra and neighboring boreal forests of Greenland, Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska, and Canada. Reindeer have been domesticated in Europe and range from two varieties: Tundra and Woodland.

Reindeer (Caribou) have standing shoulder heights between 2’9”-4’7” (85-140 cm), head-to-body lengths in the range of 3’11”-7’2” (120-220 cm), and overall weights of 132-705 lb (60-320 kg). The lifespan of a wild Reindeer is roughly 15-20 years.

Collection of scaled drawings of the Reindeer (Caribou)
Reindeer | Caribou
Height:
2’9”-4’7” | 85-140 cm
Width:
Length:
3’11”-7’2” | 120-220 cm
Depth:
Weight:
132-705 lb | 60-320 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Rangifer tarandus
Lifespan
15-20 years

Drawings include:

Reindeer (Caribou) side elevation (standing), side (walking), side (eating), side (lying down), front (standing)

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