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The Tundra Biome: Animals

The tundra habitat is very different from the rest of the world, and the animals who live within the tundra much adjust accordingly. For example, because of the very low temperatures in the tundra, warm blooded animals can not hibernate, so during the winter they have to stay active. In addition, because of the tundra's short winters, animals are required to have a very short breeding cycle in the summer before it gets cold again. Because of the harsh conditions in the tundra, often animal populations are low. Overall, the most important trait of the animals native to tundra is their ability to adapt to the harsh conditions of the tundra.

Below is a list of many common animals found in the tundra.


Arctic Fox: A solitary hunter, the Arctic Fox hunts small animals and birds. It has adapted well to its native tundra environment where its fur is extra thick all around its body and it can sustain normal body heat without any extra work up to 30 degrees Farenheight.

Caribou: The caribou roams the Tundra in herds, a member of the deer family. The caribou eats small vegetation, anything from ground lichen to tree bark. In addition, both females and males have antlers, distinguishing caribou from other deer species.

Gray Wolf: The gray wolf is the largest member of the dog family. Feared by many people, the gray wolf hunts in packs looking for other animals within its habitat.

Lemming: Lemmings are small reddish brown rodents that eat small vegetation on the tundra ground. They are very small, not more that 3-5 inches in length. Lemmings are widely known for a desire committing suicide, but this is only a myth. When Lemmings overgraze in an area, the vegetation often produces a chemical that is poisonous to Lemmings, which in turn requires them to migrate to a new grazing area. However, Lemmings just start walking in a certain direction until they come upon a new grazing area and they're content to keep on walking until they do. Unfortunately, they don't seem to notice if a cliff is in the way, so they'll end up walking off it to their demise.

Polar Bear: One of the largest in the bear family, Polar Bears can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and grow to 11 feet tall. Polar bears eat other animals local to the Tundra biome, including seals, caribou, and walruses. Since it hunts on ice, it has evolved into having fur on the bottom of its feet for traction.

Seals: Seals are marine mammals that spend almost all their time in the water and only rarely are they on the Tundra themselves. They feed on smaller fish, and can dive up to 2,000 feet underwater.

Walrus: Like seals, walruses are not on the tundra very much, they are mostly in the water around the tundra biome. While on the land, they use their flippers to push themselves around. Walruses eat other marine like, such as small fish and clams.

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