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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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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Arctic Fox

The Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus) is adapted to living in cold environments and has thick, warm fur that is used as camouflage. Their fur is sometimes white and at other times turns into a blue-gray coat. Arctic Foxes are native to the arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, Norway, Scandinavia, and Iceland.

Arctic Foxes typically live in burrows or dens. Their diet generally consists of lemmings, voles, ringed seal pups, fish, waterfowl, and seabirds. In the wild most arctic foxes typically do not live past their first year of life.

Arctic Foxs have a shoulder height of 10”-12” (25-30 cm), body length between 18”-24” (46-61 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 7-17 lb (3-7.7 kg). The typical lifespan of a Arctic Fox is 3-6 years in the wild and up to 14-16 years when raised in captivity.

Set of standing side elevation drawings of the Arctic Fox
The Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus) is adapted to living in cold environments and has thick, warm fur that is used as camouflage. Their fur is sometimes white and at other times turns into a blue-gray coat. In the wild most arctic foxes typically do not live past their first year of life.

Arctic Foxs have a shoulder height of 10”-12” (25-30 cm), body length between 18”-24” (46-61 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 7-17 lb (3-7.7 kg). The typical lifespan of a Arctic Fox is 3-6 years in the wild and up to 14-16 years when raised in captivity.

Set of standing side elevation drawings of the Arctic Fox
Arctic Fox
Height:
10”-12” | 25-30 cm
Width:
Length:
18”-24” | 46-61 cm
Depth:
Weight:
7-17 lb | 3-7.7 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Vulpes lagopus
Lifespan
3-6 years (wild); up to 14-16 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Arctic Fox side elevation (standing), front (standing), side (walking), side (lying down)

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King Penguin
Dimensioned size comparison drawing of the King Penguin compared to the height of an average man

The King Penguin is the second largest penguin species; slightly smaller than the Emperor Penguin, the King Penguin is similar in appearance to that of the Emperor Penguin, but it can be distinguished by its straighter bill and sleeker body. King penguins breed on the Sub Antarctic islands on the northern regions of Antarctica, South Georgia, as well as other temperate islands; they are classified under least concern conservation status. The species’ diet consists of mostly laternfish, squid, and krill, and King Penguins can dive over 300 feet to catch their prey.

The King Penguin has an average height range of 28”-39” (70-100 cm), weight of 21-40 lb (9.3-18 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-30 years.

Series of drawings of King Penguins in various postures from walking to standing and looking
The King Penguin is the second largest penguin species; slightly smaller than the Emperor Penguin, the King Penguin is similar in appearance to that of the Emperor Penguin, but it can be distinguished by its straighter bill and sleeker body. King Penguins can dive over 300 feet to catch their prey.

The King Penguin has an average height range of 28”-39” (70-100 cm), weight of 21-40 lb (9.3-18 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-30 years.

Series of drawings of King Penguins in various postures from walking to standing and looking
King Penguin
Height:
28”-39” | 70-100 cm
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
21-40 lb | 9.3-18 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Aptenodytes patagonicus
Lifespan
15-30 years

Drawings include:
King Penguin standing (side), looking (side), standing (back), walking (side), standing (front), standing (winter man)

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Gentoo Penguin
Elevation drawing with dimensions of the Gentoo Penguin compared to the size of an average person

The Gentoo penguin, sometimes known as the Johnny penguin, is characterized by the large trumpeting call that it makes with its head thrown back. Other distinguishing factors include the wide white stripe that extends over the top of the penguins’ head, and its bright orange-red bill. Gentoo penguins have the most prominent tails of all penguin species. The species is most closely related to the Adélie penguin and the Chinstrap penguin. They are the third largest penguin species, and the fastest underwater swimmers of all penguin species, reaching speeds of 22 miles per hour.

The Gentoo Penguin has an average height range of 20”-35” (51-90 cm), weight of 11-19 lb (4.9-8.5 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Series of elevation drawings of the Gentoo Penguin in an assortment of postures from the front, back, and side views
The Gentoo penguin is characterized by the large trumpeting call that it makes with its head thrown back. Other distinguishing factors include the wide white stripe that extends over the top of the penguins’ head, its bright orange-red bill, and the most prominent tail of all penguin species.

The Gentoo Penguin has an average height range of 20”-35” (51-90 cm), weight of 11-19 lb (4.9-8.5 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Series of elevation drawings of the Gentoo Penguin in an assortment of postures from the front, back, and side views
Gentoo Penguin
Height:
20”-35” | 51-90 cm
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
11-19 lb | 4.9-8.5 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Pygoscelis papua
Lifespan
15-20 years

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

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Norway Lemming

The Norway Lemming, scientifically known as Lemmus lemmus, is a rodent inhabiting the Arctic tundras. Its coat, unlike that of other rodents, can be quite noticeable in appearance: gray with reddish-brown stripes or tawny and black. Other physical characteristics include short legs and stump of a tail as well as a round body and nose.

The shape of a Norway Lemming’s claws help it burrow into the snow-- a necessary action in the winter for protection as it does not hibernate. In the spring however, the lemming moves from the tundra to higher areas. Lemmings are known to reproduce at rapid rates, leading to aggressive population fluctuations.

Norway Lemmings have a height of 2.2”-2.6” (5.5-6.5 cm), body length between 5.1”-6.3” (13-16 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 2.5-4.6 oz (70-130 g). The tail length of a Norway Lemming is .4”-.75” (10-19 mm). Norway Lemmings have a typical lifespan of 1-2 years in the wild and 2-3 years in captivity.

Dimensioned collection of scaled drawings of the Norway Lemming in various poses
The Norway Lemming, scientifically known as Lemmus lemmus, is a rodent inhabiting the Arctic tundras. Its coat, unlike that of other rodents, can be quite noticeable in appearance: gray with reddish-brown stripes or tawny and black. Other characteristics include short legs and stump of a tail.

Norway Lemmings have a height of 2.2”-2.6” (5.5-6.5 cm), body length between 5.1”-6.3” (13-16 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 2.5-4.6 oz (70-130 g). The tail length of a Norway Lemming is .4”-.75” (10-19 mm). Norway Lemmings have a typical lifespan of 1-2 years in the wild and 2-3 years in captivity.

Dimensioned collection of scaled drawings of the Norway Lemming in various poses
Norway Lemming
Height:
2.2”-2.6” | 5.5-6.5 cm
Width:
Length:
5.1”-6.3” | 13-16 cm
Depth:
Weight:
2.5-4.6 oz | 70-130 g
Area:
Tail Length
.4”-.75” | 10-19 mm
Scientific Name
Lemmus lemmus
Lifespan
1-2 years (wild); 2-3 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Norway Lemming side elevation (standing), front (standing)

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