Zoology & Botany

penguin, polar bear, wolf, walrus, seal, caribou owl - polar regions

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy polar region, penguin, polar bear, wolf, walrus, seal, caribou, owl in advance

(Show a picture of the polar region) Say: Life in the planet’s polar regions can be incredibly difficult. Bitterly cold winds whip across the landscape. Winter temperatures can reach deep into the negatives, and the winter night can last for months. Nevertheless, Polar landscapes are home to a rich diversity of wildlife, both on land and within the seas. (Show the picture of penguin) Say: Penguins are torpedo-shaped, flightless birds that live in the southern regions of the Earth. The penguin's body is adapted for swimming. It has a large head, short neck, and elongated body. The penguin has wing-bones, though they are flipper-like and extremely suited to swimming. The penguin´s legs and webbed feet are set far back on the body, which gives penguin its upright posture on land.

(Show the picture of polar bear) Say:

Many adaptations make Polar Bears uniquely suited to life in icy habitats. Their fur is thicker than any other bears and covers even their feet for warmth and traction on ice. A thick layer of blubber beneath their fur provides buoyancy and insulation. Their front feet are large, flat and oar-like, making them excellent swimmers.

(Show the picture of a wolf) Say: Due to the extreme cold where these wolves live, they have two thick layers of white fur. The outer layer actually gets thicker as the winter months come along. Their first layer helps to form a waterproof barrier for the skin. As a result their body temperature can stay warm enough even when it is bitter cold; and since the ground is permanently frozen they have padded paws that are designed to offer them a good grip when they walk.

(Show the picture of the walrus) Say: walruses are very distinctive having a large, robust, fusiform body. Walruses lack external ear flaps, have hundreds of short whiskers, and both males and females possess large tusks. Their fore and hind limbs are modified into flippers. On land, walruses are capable of rotating their hind flippers under their pelvic girdle to walk on all fours in a similar manner to sea lions.

(Show the picture of the seal) Say: Arctic seals are known as the “earless" seals because they lack external ear flaps. They have a robust body, a relatively small, broad, flat head, and a narrow snout. Their front flippers have thick, strong claws, and their hind flippers have small, narrow claws. These mammals are unable to rotate these back flippers underneath them to walk, and instead use their front flippers to pull themselves along on land.

(Show the picture of the caribou) Say: Caribou, also called reindeer are the most numerous large mammals in the Arctic Refuge. When snow begins to fall, caribou move south and travel to more sheltered climes where they can feed on moss or lichens. These animals dig for food using their large hooves. The underside of each hoof is hollowed out like a big scoop and allows the caribou to dig through snow in search of food. As summer approaches, caribou herds head north in one of the world's great large-animal migrations. They spend the summer feeding on the abundant grasses, mushrooms, and plants of the tundra.

(Show the picture of the owl) Say: The ghostlike snowy owl has unmistakable white plumage that echoes its Arctic origins. It is able to live there year round. This owl is covered with thick feathers from head to toe to protect it from the severe winter weather. Mostly Snowy owls are big, they have a rounded head, yellow eyes and a black bill.

Climate change and global warming have had the biggest impact on the polar regions, as the increasing temperature causes more and more ice to melt. And sadly, protecting the Arctic is a very different case as mining for oil and minerals, fishing and hunting takes place in many areas.

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