Top 10 Cold Weather Animals and How They Thrive


December is here and the weather is cool too. In other words, if you live in a place where it is cold. For these 10 animals, where they live, it is always cold. They are known aschionophiles, or organisms that love and thrive in snow. These cold weather animals evolved to stay warm and well fed even in the freezing cold of conditions. Find out how below!

snowy owl

Credit: (James.Pintar / Shutterstock)

Listen to the Harry Potter musical theme! Snowy owls have become one of the most popular breeds of owl in the world. They are commonly found in North America, the Arctic Circle, and the northern United States. They are also found in Europe and Asia.

Snowy owls are incredibly intelligent and agile birds of prey. They eat small mammals like mice and rabbits. However, those who live in the Arctic all year round tend to live onlemmings. Snowy owls are also the heaviest owls in North America, weighing around four pounds due to their thick, insulating feathers. Unlike most owls, snowy owls are not nocturnal, primarily due to the long hours of daylight in the Arctic Circle.

Snowy owls can be seen as they migrate to the northern United States for the winter. Keep an eye on them during the day. They tend to perch on fence posts or tree branches. The owls’ white and black speckled feathers blend into their surroundings, so watch out for their striking yellow eyes.

Check out information, photos and videos of these animals in cold weather from theCornell Laboratory.

Arctic hare

Credit: (sirtravelalot / Shutterstock)

The arctic hare is undoubtedly one of the most adorable animals in cold weather. Unlike other rabbit breeds, Arctic hares do not hibernate during the winter. Instead, they have adapted to the tundra with their thick fur and shortened ears. During the winter, their fur remains a bright white to match the snow. However, in the spring it turns grayish blue to blend in with the rocks and other surrounding vegetation.

Since Arctic hares are prey, they have adapted their speed and agility through ice and snow, often reaching speeds of40 miles an hour!

Arctic hares feed on roots, berries, mosses, and other plants, and were once a vital source of food and clothing for Native American tribes.

Arctic fox

Credit: (Pierre Cornay Photography / Shutterstock)

Just as adorable as the arctic hare, these cold-weather animals have learned to adapt and survive the tundra in the same way. Again, like the hare, the arctic fox has shorter ears and muzzle than other fox breeds. The shorter ends are easier to keep warm. The arctic fox can survive high temperaturesas low as -58 ° F! Its furry toes and fluffy tail also help keep the arctic fox warm.

The arctic fox hunts small mammals and is known to even follow polar bears to eat their leftovers. When food is scarce, they also eat vegetation. Their fur is pure white during the winter but turns brown / gray during the warmer months to help it stay camouflaged.

Check out some of these stunning photos of arctic foxes fromNational geography.

Snow Leopard

Credit: (Vladimir Turkenich / Shutterstock)

Snow leopards are majestic cold-weather animals that inhabit the mountains of Asia. Their gray-white pebble fur helps them to camouflage themselves perfectly in the mountain landscape. They blend in so well; they were called “mountain ghosts. ”Snow leopards have strong hind legs that can propel them six times as long and a long tail for balance and warmth.

The snow leopard lives mainly on mountain bighorn sheep, ibex, pikas and marmots. While these cold-weather animals are incredibly beautiful, their species is endangered. Climate change, habitat loss, food scarcity and poaching are major threats to the snow leopard way of life.

You can find out how to help snow leopards by checking out theWorld Nature Foundation (WWF).


Credit: (Mats Brynolf / Shutterstock)

The walrus is a unique looking animal in cold weather. They can grow up to 11 feet long and weigh over a ton! Let’s not forget their hairy mustaches and long tusks. Their tusks are large canines that continue to grow throughout their lives. Walruses use their teeth for a variety of things, including crawling out of cold water and on ice.

There are two subspecies of walruses: the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Atlantic lives off the coasts of Canada and Greenland while the Pacific lives off the coasts of Russia and Alaska. You can often hear walruses screeching at each other from a distance.

The walrus is a unique species. Due to their fat and tusks, they were often poached and hunted for fuel and trade. However, they are threatened by something entirely different now: climate change. Due to melting ice in the Arctic Circle, there is less room to hold migrating walruses as they make their way to their food sources. Instead, they’ve gathered on smaller rocky islands that can’t contain them all. Some drowned while others fell from the cliffs after trying to find a place to rest.

This is an excerpt fromOur Planet Special on Netflixwith David Attenborough. It’s very difficult to watch, so viewers’ discretion is advised.

Emperor penguins

Credit: (Roger ARPS BPE1 CPAGB / Shutterstock)

Penguins are the best dressed cold weather animals. An interesting fact about penguins: While there are 17 different species of this flightless bird,only seven of themare found in the frigid landscapes of Antarctica. The emperor penguin is one of them. These birds have been seen in popular films likehappy feetandThe penguins walk.

Compared to other species of penguins, the emperor penguinis the biggest, standing about four feet tall and weighing up to 100 pounds. They have thick black and white feathers with orange and yellow plumage around the head, neck, and chest.

To stay warm on the harshest winter nights, Emperor Penguins huddle together in a constantly rotating circle to keep themselves and their chicks warm.


Credit: (CJ Larsen / Shutterstock)

Beluga whales are another unique animal in cold weather. Early sailors noted how well these whales squeaked and chirped, nicknamed them “sea ​​canaries. “Beluga whales are social animals that hunt and migrate in groups. They can grow up to 22 feet long and weigh over a ton. Their facial features may change, giving the impression that they are making expressions.

Belugas are an important part of the ecosystem; however, due to oil drilling and the sound of the ocean, their habitat and health are threatened. You can help these beautiful creatures through theWWF.

Harp seal

Credit: (COULANGES / Shutterstock)

Yet another lovable animal in cold weather, harp seals have thick, oily fur and plenty of fat to help keep them warm in the freezing waters of the Arctic. Baby harp seals keep their fluffy white coats until they are about two weeks old. At that time, their dark furry beings will develop.

These seals live on fish and other crustaceans and can live up to 35 years. Seals are still hunted for their fur, but in recent years the seal hunt has grown into a much bigger activity.controversial subject.


Credit: (Ghost Bear / Shutterstock)

Another popular animal in cold weather is the caribou, or reindeer, especially around Christmas time. Their short body and thick fur help them stay warm while their long legs help them move around in the snow. Caribou prefer the cold because they can’t stand insects so much on them in summer. They are known to run several miles to get rid of these parasites.

A unique aspect of the caribou is that it is one of the few species of deer where both males and femalesgrow wood. Caribou have hollow-bottomed hooves that make it easier for them to dig up food from under the snow.

Caribou are found in North America, Europe and Russia. In European countries, they have been domesticated. You can visit a herd of friendly caribou inScotland in the Cairngorm Mountains.

Polar bear

Credit: (Sergey Uryadnikov / Shutterstock)

Finally, one of the most popular animals in cold weather is the polar bear. These polar bears are at the top of the food chain in the Arctic Circle. Polar bears are the largest bears in the world and are symbols of strength and perseverance in nature. They spend much of their life in the water hunting for food.

Polar bears have black skin and transparent fur. Their the languages ​​are also blue! Their fur coats are greasy to prevent excess water from entering the fur and cooling them down.

Polar bears rely heavily on ice caps for travel, rest and mating. Due to climate change, however, there is less and less ice and the population of polar bears is declining. You can join theWWFby helping to preserve the lives of these amazing animals.

Fun fact: do you know why the North and South Poles are called Arctic and Antarctic? The word “Arctic” comes from the Greek word “arktos“, which means bear. The word” Antarctica “literally translates to” no bear “. cool is that it?


Comments are closed.