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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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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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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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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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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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:
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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