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.

How do animals survive in the arctic?

Animals survive in the arctic by physically developing adaptations to withstand the extreme temperatures such as insulating fur, multiple layers of fat, as well as oily skin coatings. These physical elements in combination with one another help animals live comfortably within the arctic. They also help keep moisture out and heat inside.

Do all arctic animals have blubber?

Arctic animals have blubber that covers their entire body and is an essential element of the physical anatomy. The blubber of arctic animals helps store energy, insulate heat, as well as increase buoyancy. Although some marine animals also have blubber it is thicker among arctic animals to protect them against the extreme cold.

Why are arctic animals white?

Arctic animals are typically white because it offers an additional layer of warmth and protection. Arctic animals are white because it has no extra coloring and provides more room for air to insulate them. The white coloring also helps arctic animals blend into their surroundings and acts as a form of camouflage.

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Arctic Animals Guides
Browse through our curated Arctic Animals Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Arctic Animals. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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18”-28” | 46-71 cm
8-13 lb | 3.6-6 kg
11-20 years
Adélie Penguin
71.000
6.000
20.00
2900
3D
Adélie Penguin
10”-12” | 25-30 cm
18”-24” | 46-61 cm
7-17 lb | 3-7.7 kg
3-6 years (wild); up to 14-16 years (captivity)
Arctic Fox
30.000
61.000
7.700
16.00
114000
3D
Arctic Fox
25”-31” | 64-79 cm
38”-68” | 97-173 cm
70-155 lb | 32-70 kg
7-10 years (wild); up to 18 years (captivity)
Arctic Wolf
79.000
173.000
70.000
18.00
28000
3D
Arctic Wolf
17.7”-21.25” | 45-54 cm
21.25”-23.6” | 54-60 cm
6.92’-8.83’ | 2.1-2.7 m
440-550 lb | 200-250 kg
20-31 years
Bearded Seal
54.000
60.000
270.000
250.000
31.00
4750
3D
Bearded Seal
2’8”-4’2” | 81-127 cm
35”-54” | 89-138 cm
13’-20’ | 4-6.1 m
2,000-3,000 lb | 910-1,360 kg
35-50 years
Beluga Whale
127.000
138.000
610.000
1360.000
50.00
224000
3D
Beluga Whale
8.9’-12.1’ | 2.7-3.7 m
14.1’-19.4’ | 4.3-5.9 m
45’-60’ | 13.7-18.3 m
75-100 tons | 68-91 metric tons
150-200 years
Bowhead Whale
370.000
590.000
1830.000
90718.000
200.00
66900
3D
Bowhead Whale
27”-30” | 68-76 cm
7-12 lb | 3.2-5.3 kg
15-20 years
Chinstrap Penguin
76.000
5.300
20.00
6900
3D
Chinstrap Penguin
4.3’-5.9’ | 1.3-1.8 m
6.6’-9.2’ | 2-2.8 m
26’-35’ | 7.9-10.7 m
6-10 tons | 5-9 metric tons
40-50 years
Common Minke Whale
180.000
280.000
1070.000
9072.000
50.00
2900
3D
Common Minke Whale
17.7”-20.5” | 45-52 cm
17.3”-18.5” | 44-47 cm
7.5’-8.5’ | 2.3-2.6 m
440-660 lb | 200-300 kg
23-40 years
Crabeater Seal
52.000
47.000
260.000
300.000
40.00
5250
3D
Crabeater Seal
43”-51” | 110-130 cm
49-99 lb | 22-45 kg
15-20 years
Emperor Penguin
130.000
45.000
20.00
44000
3D
Emperor Penguin
20”-35” | 51-90 cm
11-19 lb | 4.9-8.5 kg
15-20 years
Gentoo Penguin
90.000
8.500
20.00
9900
3D
Gentoo Penguin
6.9’-8.5’ | 2.1-2.6 m
10.2’-11.5’ | 3.1-3.5 m
40’-50’ | 12.2-15.2 m
30-41 tons | 27-37 metric tons
55-80 years
Gray Whale
260.000
350.000
1520.000
37195.000
80.00
22300
3D
Gray Whale
26”-33” | 66-84 cm
40”-72” | 102-183 cm
50-150 lb | 23-68 kg
6-8 years (wild); up to 17 years (captivity)
Gray Wolf
84.000
183.000
68.000
17.00
35000
3D
Gray Wolf
12’-24’ | 3.7-7.3 m
1950-2250 lb | 885-1020 kg
300-500 years
Greenland Shark
730.000
1020.000
500.00
55000
3D
Greenland Shark
14.6”-19.3” | 37-49 cm
43.3”-63” | 110-160 cm (Wingspan)
18.9”-25.6” | 48-65 cm
1.8-4.6 lb | .8-2.1 kg
12-25 years
Gyrfalcon
49.000
160.000
65.000
2.100
25.00
17700
3D
Gyrfalcon
18.5”-19.7” | 44-50 cm
20.1”-21.7” | 51-55 cm
5.92’-6.5’ | 1.8-2 m
254-310 lb | 115-140 kg
20-35 years
Harp Seal
50.000
55.000
200.000
140.000
35.00
39700
3D
Harp Seal
15”-29.1” | 38-74 cm (Overall)
13”-38.6” | 33-98 cm (Overall)
5.91’-10’ | 1.8-3 m (Overall)
440-880 lb | 200-400 kg (Overall)
25-35 years
Hooded Seal
74.000
98.000
300.000
400.000
35.00
5950
3D
Hooded Seal
8’-9’8” | 2.44-2.97 m
12.1’-14.8’ | 3.7-4.5 m
43’-52’ | 13-16 m
27.5-33 tons | 25-30 metric tons
45-100 years
Humpback Whale
297.000
450.000
1600.000
30000.000
100.00
63200
3D
Humpback Whale
28”-39” | 70-100 cm
21-40 lb | 9.3-18 kg
15-30 years
King Penguin
100.000
18.000
30.00
15000
3D
King Penguin
13.4”-21.25” | 39-54 cm
15”-22” | 38-56 cm
7.83’-11.5’ | 2.39-3.5 m
573-1,100 lb | 260-500 kg
15-30 years
Leopard Seal
54.000
56.000
350.000
500.000
30.00
88300
3D
Leopard Seal
24”-27” | 61-69 cm
7-14 lb | 3.2-6.4 kg
15-20 years
Macaroni Penguin
69.000
6.400
20.00
15000
3D
Macaroni Penguin
Narwhal
505800
23”-36” | 58-92 cm
25”-39” | 63-99 cm
11.5’-18’ | 3.5-5.49 m
1,764-3,527 lb | 800-1,600 kg
35-55 years
Narwhal
92.000
99.000
549.000
1600.000
55.00
505800
3D
Narwhal
9.8”-12.8” | 25-32.5 cm
38.2”-48” | 97-122 cm (Wingspan)
16.1”-20.5” | 41-52 cm
.64-1.65 lb | .29-.75 kg
8-17 years
Northern Harrier
32.500
122.000
52.000
0.750
17.00
15060
3D
Northern Harrier
2.2”-2.6” | 5.5-6.5 cm
5.1”-6.3” | 13-16 cm
2.5-4.6 oz | 70-130 g
1-2 years (wild); 2-3 years (captivity)
Norway Lemming
6.500
16.000
0.130
3.00
30000
3D
Norway Lemming
2’8”-5’3” | .81-1.6 m
7’10”-9’10” | 2.4-3 m
330-1500 lb | 150-680 kg
20-30 years (wild); up to 45 years (captivity)
Polar Bear
160.000
300.000
680.000
45.00
132000
3D
Polar Bear
2’9”-4’7” | 85-140 cm
3’11”-7’2” | 120-220 cm
132-705 lb | 60-320 kg
15-20 years
Reindeer | Caribou
140.000
220.000
320.000
20.00
204000
3D
Reindeer | Caribou
22”-26” | 56-66 cm
36”-51” | 91-130 cm
75-120 lb | 34-54 kg
8-15 years (wild); 18-22 years (captivity)
Snow Leopard
66.000
130.000
54.000
22.00
121000
3D
Snow Leopard
Snowy Owl
108800
12.4”-16.9” | 31.5-43 cm
51.2”-65.4” | 130-166 cm (Wingspan)
20.5”-28” | 52-71 cm
2.9-6.5 lb | 1.3-2.95 kg
10-28 years
Snowy Owl
43.000
166.000
71.000
2.950
28.00
108800
3D
Snowy Owl
19.7”-49.6” | 50-126 cm (Overall)
24.4”-70.9” | 62-180 cm (Overall)
8.5’-19.67’ | 2.6-6 m (Overall)
772-8,160 lb | 350-3,700 kg (Overall)
14-22 years
Southern Elephant Seal
126.000
180.000
600.000
3700.000
22.00
7200
3D
Southern Elephant Seal
24.4”-37.4” | 62-95 cm (Overall)
23.6”-39.4” | 60-100 cm (Overall)
7.5’-10.67’ | 2.3-3.25 m (Overall)
529-2,470 lb | 240-1,120 kg (Overall)
14-33 years
Steller Sea Lion
95.000
100.000
325.000
1120.000
33.00
8400
3D
Steller Sea Lion
Walrus
408300
33.1”-55.1” | 84-140 cm (Overall)
35.4”-52.4” | 90-133 cm (Overall)
7.5’-12.17’ | 2.3-3.7 m (Overall)
1,323-4,410 lb | 600-2,000 kg (Overall)
30-40 years
Walrus
140.000
133.000
370.000
2000.000
40.00
408300
3D
Walrus
18.9”-25.6” | 48-65 cm
13.8”-19.7” | 35-50 cm
8.17’-10.83’ | 2.5-3.3 m
882-1,323 lb | 400-600 kg
20-30 years
Weddell Seal
65.000
50.000
330.000
600.000
30.00
6200
3D
Weddell Seal
10.2”-13.2” | 26-33.5 cm
23.6”-24.4” | 60-62 cm (Wingspan)
13.8”-17.3” | 35-44 cm
.95-1.8 lb | .43-.81 kg
5-9 years
Willow Ptarmigan
33.500
62.000
44.000
0.810
9.00
5300
3D
Willow Ptarmigan
8.5’-11.17’ | 2.6-3.4 m
4.59’-6.23’ | 1.4-1.9 m
9.19’-12.47’ | 2.8-3.8 m
13,205-17,593 lb | 5,990-7,980 kg
60-80 years
Woolly Mammoth
340.000
190.000
380.000
7980.000
80.00
146900
3D
Woolly Mammoth
Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)
Comparison drawing of the Gyrfalcon compared to other birds of prey

The Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) is a falcon species that lives on the Arctic coasts and tundra, the islands of northern North America, and the Eurosiberian region. And for centuries, the falcon has been valued as a hunting bird. They are very large, and females are bulkier and heavier. They have large, broad, and pointed wings, and the species’ plumage is varied. Color variations can be all-white to very dark. There diet consists mostly the ptarmigan and waterfowl which are captured when the bird is in flight. They also eat a variety of fish and mammals.

The Gyrfalcon has a wingspan in the range of 43.3”-63” (110-160 cm) and total weight of 1.8-4.6 lb (.8-2.1 kg). The body of the Gyrfalcon has an overall length between 18.9”-25.6” (48-65 cm), body width of 6.5”-9.25” (16.5-23.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 14.6”-19.3” (37-49 cm). The typical lifespan of the Gyrfalcon is between 12-25 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Gyrfalcon
The Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) is a falcon species that lives on the Arctic coasts and tundra, the islands of northern North America, and the Eurosiberian region. And for centuries, the falcon has been valued as a hunting bird. They are very large, and females are bulkier and heavier.

The Gyrfalcon has a wingspan in the range of 43.3”-63” (110-160 cm) and total weight of 1.8-4.6 lb (.8-2.1 kg). The body of the Gyrfalcon has an overall length between 18.9”-25.6” (48-65 cm), body width of 6.5”-9.25” (16.5-23.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 14.6”-19.3” (37-49 cm). The typical lifespan of the Gyrfalcon is between 12-25 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Gyrfalcon
Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)
Height:
14.6”-19.3” | 37-49 cm
Width:
43.3”-63” | 110-160 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
18.9”-25.6” | 48-65 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1.8-4.6 lb | .8-2.1 kg
Area:

Body Width: 6.5”-9.25” | 16.5-23.5 cm

Scientific Name
Falco rusticolus
Lifespan
12-25 years

Drawings include:

Gyrfalcon side view, front, flying (assorted)

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Snow Leopard
Comparison illustration of the size of a Snow Leopard to a typical person

The Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia), also known as an ounce, is a large cat inhabiting the mountains of Central and South Asia. This stocky, short-legged cat is pale grey in color with dark spots and rosettes. Due to living in alpine environments, the Snow Leopard has many features or adaptations to provide warmth and stability.

It has broad paws for walking on snow, a dense undercoat for insulation, a long, bushy tail to cover its face when asleep and to maintain balance, and small ears to lessen heat loss. The Snow Leopard typically rest and reside by ridges in the mountains to ensure a vantage point as it prefers to ambush prey from up above.

Snow Leopards have a shoulder height between 22”-26” (56-66 cm), body length of 36”-51” (91-130 cm), and weight in the range of 75-120 lb (34-54 kg). The tail of a Snow Leopard is 31”-39” (79-99 cm) in length. Snow Leopards have a typical lifespan of 8-15 years in the wild and up to 18-22 years in captivity.

Series of side elevation illustrations of the Snow Leopard
The Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia), also known as an ounce, is a large cat inhabiting the mountains of Central and South Asia. This stocky, short-legged cat is pale grey in color with dark spots and rosettes. Due to living in cold alpine environments, the Snow Leopard has many adaptive features.

Snow Leopards have a shoulder height between 22”-26” (56-66 cm), body length of 36”-51” (91-130 cm), and weight in the range of 75-120 lb (34-54 kg). The tail of a Snow Leopard is 31”-39” (79-99 cm) in length. Snow Leopards have a typical lifespan of 8-15 years in the wild and up to 18-22 years in captivity.

Series of side elevation illustrations of the Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard
Height:
22”-26” | 56-66 cm
Width:
Length:
36”-51” | 91-130 cm
Depth:
Withers Height
Weight:
75-120 lb | 34-54 kg
Area:
Tail Length
31”-39” | 79-99 cm
Scientific Name
Panthera uncia
Lifespan
8-15 years (wild); 18-22 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Snow Leopard side elevation (standing), front (sitting), side (lying down)

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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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Greenland Shark
Comparison illustration of the size of a Greenland Shark to a typical person

The Greenland Shark (Somniosus Microcephalus), also referred to as the gurry shark, is a rare species of shark that has a short-rounded snout, small eyes, and between 48 to 52 teeth. Male Greenland sharks are smaller than female sharks. Greenland sharks live in the northern Atlantic and Arctic Ocean.

Greenland Sharks typically eat fish such as sharks, skates, eels, herring, capelin, arctic char, cod, rosefish, and sculpins. They commonly have 10 offspring at a time and are independent since birth. Greenland sharks have the longest known lifespan of all vertebrate species at up to 500 years. Greenland sharks are currently near-threatened by extinction due to hunting by humans.

Greenland Sharks have a total length between 12’-24’ (3.7-7.3 m) and an overall weight in the range of 1950-2250 lb (885-1020 kg). The typical lifespan of the Greenland Shark is a lengthy 300-500 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Greenland Shark in various poses
The Greenland Shark (Somniosus Microcephalus), also referred to as the gurry shark, has a short-rounded snout, small eyes, and between 48 to 52 teeth. Male Greenland sharks are smaller than female sharks. Greenland sharks live in the northern Atlantic and Arctic Ocean.

Greenland Sharks have a total length between 12’-24’ (3.7-7.3 m) and an overall weight in the range of 1950-2250 lb (885-1020 kg). The typical lifespan of the Greenland Shark is a lengthy 300-500 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Greenland Shark in various poses
Greenland Shark
Height:
Width:
Length:
12’-24’ | 3.7-7.3 m
Depth:
Weight:
1950-2250 lb | 885-1020 kg
Area:
Speed
Scientific Name
Somniosus microcephalus
Lifespan
300-500 years

Drawings include:

Greenland Shark side elevation, side (perspective), front, top

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Arctic Wolf
Dimensioned comparison drawing of the Arctic Wolf compared to an average person

The Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos), also known as the white wolf or polar wolf, is medium-sized and has a white fur coloration. They have short noses and small ears to help them maintain body heat in the tundra. They are native to the Alaska, Canada, and Greenland regions of North America.

They live in caves and not in dens. Their diet consists of mainly muskoxen, arctic hares, lemmings, caribous, arctic foxes, birds, and beetles. The Arctic Wolf is not afraid of people and can approach them. They travel in group or packs of 6 and have a lifespan of 7 years.

Arctic Wolfs have a shoulder height of 25”-31” (64-79 cm), body length between 38”-68” (97-173 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 70-155 lb (32-70 kg). The typical lifespan of a Arctic Wolf is 7-10 years in the wild and up to 18 years in captivity.

Set of standing side elevation drawings of the Arctic Wolf
The Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos), also known as the white wolf or polar wolf, is medium-sized and has a white fur coloration. They have short noses and small ears to help them maintain body heat in the tundra. They are native to the Alaska, Canada, and Greenland regions of North America.

Arctic Wolfs have a shoulder height of 25”-31” (64-79 cm), body length between 38”-68” (97-173 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 70-155 lb (32-70 kg). The typical lifespan of a Arctic Wolf is 7-10 years in the wild and up to 18 years in captivity.

Set of standing side elevation drawings of the Arctic Wolf
Arctic Wolf
Height:
25”-31” | 64-79 cm
Width:
Length:
38”-68” | 97-173 cm
Depth:
Weight:
70-155 lb | 32-70 kg
Area:
Coat Color
Scientific Name
Canis lupus arctos
Lifespan
7-10 years (wild); up to 18 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Arctic Wolf side elevation (standing), front (standing), side (howling), side (lying down)

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