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.

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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
3D
Macaroni Penguin
39”-50” | 99-127 cm
16.5”-20.9” | 42-53 cm
55.1”-70.9” | 140-180 cm
132-265 lb | 60-120 kg
10-21 years
Mountain Goat
127.000
53.000
180.000
120.000
21.00
87350
GUIDE
3D
Mountain Goat
Muskox
36450
52.4”-64.2” | 133-163 cm
25.2”-33.5” | 64-85 cm
74.8”-96.5” | 190-245 cm
397-838 lb | 180-380 kg
12-22 years
Muskox
163.000
85.000
245.000
380.000
22.00
36450
GUIDE
3D
Muskox
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
3D
Snow Leopard
38.6”-55.5” | 98-141 cm
14.2”-20.9” | 36-53 cm
49.2”-70.9” | 125-180 cm
73-231 lb | 33-105 kg
9-24 years
Snow Sheep
141.000
53.000
180.000
105.000
24.00
1000
GUIDE
3D
Snow Sheep
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
3D
Steller Sea Lion
6.7”-8.7” | 17-22 cm
5.1”-7.1” | 13-18 cm
11”-15” | 28-38 cm
1.3-3.3 lb | .6-1.5 kg
4-14 years
Striped Polecat
22.000
18.000
38.000
1.500
14.00
1800
GUIDE
3D
Striped Polecat
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
3D
Weddell Seal
68.1”-87.4” | 173-222 cm
29.5”-38.6” | 75-98 cm
115”-149” | 292-378 cm
1102-2645 lb | 500-1200 kg
20-25 years (wild); 25-28 years (captivity)
Wild Yak
222.000
98.000
378.000
1200.000
28.00
10600
GUIDE
3D
Wild Yak
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
GUIDE
3D
Willow Ptarmigan
Wolverine
197000
13.8”-20.5” | 35-52 cm
9.4”-15.4” | 24-39 cm
25.6”-41.3” | 65-105 cm
15.4-61.7 lb | 7-28 kg
7-17 years
Wolverine
52.000
39.000
105.000
28.000
17.00
197000
GUIDE
3D
Wolverine
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
GUIDE
3D
Woolly Mammoth
Snow Sheep (Ovis nivicola)
Scale illustration of an average Snow Sheep compared to a human

The Snow Sheep (Ovis nivicola) is found in northeastern Siberia, mostly in the mountainous regions with harsh winters. It is also called Siberian bighorn sheep. The snow sheep is an herbivore that favors sedge, grass, green plants, and even lichens. Males are heavier than females, but both have thick curly horns with small dark gray ears. The coat color of the snow sheep may vary depending on the seasons. During winter, it is light, milk coffee, and other seasons grayish brown with a light patch on the buttocks. These light or whitish markings can also be seen on the rear part of the legs, while the front part is dark chocolate brown.

Snow Sheeps have a standing shoulder height between 35.4”-44.1” (90-112 cm), overall body length from 49.2”-70.9” (125-180 cm), standing height of roughly 38.6”-55.5” (98-141 cm), and a body width of 14.2”-20.9” (36-53 cm). The weight of a Snow Sheep is between 73-231 lb (33-105 kg). Snow Sheeps have a typical lifespan of 9-24 years.

Collection of scaled drawings of Snow Sheep in various poses
The Snow Sheep (Ovis nivicola) is found in northeastern Siberia, mostly in the mountainous regions with harsh winters. It is also called Siberian bighorn sheep. The snow sheep is an herbivore that favors sedge, grass, green plants, and even lichens. Males are heavier than females.

Snow Sheeps have a standing shoulder height between 35.4”-44.1” (90-112 cm), overall body length from 49.2”-70.9” (125-180 cm), standing height of roughly 38.6”-55.5” (98-141 cm), and a body width of 14.2”-20.9” (36-53 cm). The weight of a Snow Sheep is between 73-231 lb (33-105 kg). Snow Sheeps have a typical lifespan of 9-24 years.

Collection of scaled drawings of Snow Sheep in various poses
Snow Sheep (Ovis nivicola)
Height:
38.6”-55.5” | 98-141 cm
Width:
14.2”-20.9” | 36-53 cm
Length:
49.2”-70.9” | 125-180 cm
Depth:
Shoulder Height
35.4”-44.1” | 90-112 cm
Weight:
73-231 lb | 33-105 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Ovis nivicola
Lifespan
9-24 years

Drawings include:

Snow Sheep side elevation, front, back, lying down

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Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)
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 (Panthera uncia)
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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Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas)
Dimensioned size comparison diagram of a Beluga Whale with a scuba diver for scale

Beluga Whales are a species of whale known for their white color and vocal characteristics. Also known as the “sea canaries”, Beluga Whales are born grey and don’t get their whole color until 7-8 years. Beluga Whales are known for living in their arctic environment and weaving around icebergs from their keen hearing. Their live expectancy is on average 30 years, but they can live twice that if they aren’t hunted by polar bears or humans. Beluga whales are one of the most social animals in the sea and are often in groups (pods) whenever they travel.

The typical Beluga Whale has an overall height of 2’8”-4’2” (81-127 cm) and body length of 13’-20’ (4-6.1 m). An average Beluga Whale weighs between 2,000-3,000 lb (910-1,360 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 35-50 years.

Drawings of a Beluga Whale viewed from the front, top, and bottom elevations
Beluga Whales are a species of whale known for their white color and vocal characteristics. Also known as the “sea canaries”, Beluga Whales are born grey and don’t get their whole color until 7-8 years. Beluga whales are one of the most social animals in the sea and travel in groups (pods).

The typical Beluga Whale has an overall height of 2’8”-4’2” (81-127 cm) and body length of 13’-20’ (4-6.1 m). An average Beluga Whale weighs between 2,000-3,000 lb (910-1,360 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 35-50 years.

Drawings of a Beluga Whale viewed from the front, top, and bottom elevations
Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas)
Height:
2’8”-4’2” | 81-127 cm
Width:
35”-54” | 89-138 cm
Length:
13’-20’ | 4-6.1 m
Depth:
Weight:
2,000-3,000 lb | 910-1,360 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Delphinapterus leucas
Lifespan
35-50 years

Drawings include:
Beluga Whale side elevation, front, top, bottom

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Harp Seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus)
Scale illustration of an average Harp Seal compared to a human and similar seals

Harp seals, usually loved by commercial hunters, are sleek swimmers inhabiting the Arctic oceans and North Atlantic oceans with their name arising from the curved black patch on their back which looks like a harp. They prefer to swim and invest a meager time on land. They are also called Greenland seals or saddleback seals. Harp seals are true seals or earless seals characterized by pure black eyes, silver-grey coatings, and black harp markings. Males are relatively larger than females, with darker heads and better refined harp markings. Additionally, these animals migrate and display a preference for prey which is usually fish and invertebrates. Harp seals are social and regularly form huge colonies during mating or pupping.

Harp Seals have a total length between 5.92’-6.5’ (1.8-2 m), body height of 18.5”-19.7” (44-50 cm), and width of 20.1”-21.7” (51-55 cm). The typical weight of the Harp Seal is in the range of 254-310 lb (115-140 kg). Harp Seals have lifespans between 20-35 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Harp Seal seen from the side and top
Harp seals, usually loved by commercial hunters, are sleek swimmers inhabiting the Arctic oceans and North Atlantic oceans with their name arising from the curved black patch on their back which looks like a harp. They prefer to swim and invest a meager time on land.

Harp Seals have a total length between 5.92’-6.5’ (1.8-2 m), body height of 18.5”-19.7” (44-50 cm), and width of 20.1”-21.7” (51-55 cm). The typical weight of the Harp Seal is in the range of 254-310 lb (115-140 kg). Harp Seals have lifespans between 20-35 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Harp Seal seen from the side and top
Harp Seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus)
Height:
18.5”-19.7” | 44-50 cm
Width:
20.1”-21.7” | 51-55 cm
Length:
5.92’-6.5’ | 1.8-2 m
Depth:
Weight:
254-310 lb | 115-140 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Pagophilus groenlandicus
Lifespan
20-35 years

Drawings include:

Harp Seal side elevation, front, top

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Leopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx)
Scale illustration of an average Leopard Seal compared to a human and similar seals

Leopard seals or sea leopards are large Phacid inhabiting most areas of Antarctica. Leopard seals have large muscular frames and big reptilian-like heads, mouths, and also spot counter-shaded coats. Their dark gray blended coat with spotted patterns gives the Leopard seal the distinctive ”leopard” complexion. Sea leopards are true seals having shot clear whiskers, enormous heads, and large front flippers. They are considered top predators only predated by killer whales. They reside in solitary most of their time, though they are extremely social underwater, producing loud calls for several periods each day.

Leopard Seals have a total length between 7.83’-11.5’ (2.39-3.5 m), body height of 13.4”-21.25” (39-54 cm), and width of 15”-22” (38-56 cm). The typical weight of the Leopard Seal is in the range of 573-1,100 lb (260-500 kg). Leopard Seals have lifespans between 15-30 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Leopard Seal seen from the side and top
Leopard seals or sea leopards are large Phacid inhabiting most areas of Antarctica. Leopard seals have large muscular frames and big reptilian-like heads, mouths, and also spot counter-shaded coats. Their dark gray blended coat with spotted patterns gives the seal the distinctive ”leopard” pattern.

Leopard Seals have a total length between 7.83’-11.5’ (2.39-3.5 m), body height of 13.4”-21.25” (39-54 cm), and width of 15”-22” (38-56 cm). The typical weight of the Leopard Seal is in the range of 573-1,100 lb (260-500 kg). Leopard Seals have lifespans between 15-30 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Leopard Seal seen from the side and top
Leopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx)
Height:
13.4”-21.25” | 39-54 cm
Width:
15”-22” | 38-56 cm
Length:
7.83’-11.5’ | 2.39-3.5 m
Depth:
Weight:
573-1,100 lb | 260-500 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Hydrurga leptonyx
Lifespan
15-30 years

Drawings include:

Leopard Seal side elevation, front

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