Top 10 animals that live in the tundra


Imagine a vast, frozen landscape, blanketed in snow for much of the year. This is the tundra. It is harsh yet oddly beautiful. It spans the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. The tundra is very cold and has few resources. But, it is home to fascinating animals. My cousin’s sister, Lily, has always found these resilient creatures captivating. She’s delved deep into their unique adaptations. They allow them to thrive in such a tough environment. Today, we’ll explore the tundra’s incredible animal kingdom.

Masters of the Cold: Iconic Tundra Dwellers

The tundra presents a unique set of challenges for animals. The region has frigid temperatures. There is a limited amount of food. The summer is short. Survival is no easy feat. But, some remarkable creatures have evolved. They have special adaptations that let them call the tundra home. Here, we’ll meet some of the most iconic tundra residents:

1. The Mighty Caribou

Also known as reindeer, caribou are large herbivores perfectly suited for the tundra. Their thick fur keeps them warm, and their broad hooves help them navigate snowy terrain. Caribou are famous for their long migrations. They travel each year in search of food. These migrations are crucial. My cousin’s sister has discovered this. They are crucial for tundra’s health.

2. The Sneaky Arctic Fox

This small, furry fox is a master of camouflage. During the summer, its coat turns brown to blend in with the tundra rocks and vegetation. In winter, it transforms to a dazzling white, making it nearly invisible against the snow. Arctic foxes are opportunistic hunters, feeding on small mammals, birds, and even carrion.

3. The Powerful Polar Bear

The undisputed king of the Arctic, the polar bear is the largest land predator on Earth. These massive bears are perfectly adapted for hunting seals on the sea ice. A thick layer of blubber keeps them warm in the frigid water. Powerful paws allow them to swim fast. Sadly, polar bears are one of the species most threatened by climate change. The loss of sea ice makes hunting harder.

4. Mountain Goat

Mountain goats live only in North America, high up in the Rocky Mountains. They’re famous for their amazing climbing skills, sure-footed even on the steepest slopes. In fact, you might even spot them grazing in meadows way up at 13,000 feet! They eat plants. Moreover, they spend most of their days munching on grasses and other yummy plants. Furthermore, they do this in high mountain pastures.

5. Marmot

There’s no doubt about it, these alpine tundra animals are adorable! They’re big squirrels called marmots. You can find them high in mountains in Europe, Asia, and North America. For instance, marmots live in Europe’s Carpathian, Apennine, and Pyrenees mountains. In Asia, they call the Deosai Plateau in India home. They live in the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, and many other ranges in North America. They love to burrow underground. Furthermore, they even sleep through the whole winter!

6. KEA

Found nowhere else on Earth, the KEA is a unique parrot living high in the mountains. This rare bird calls New Zealand’s South Island home. It travels through forests and snowy peaks. Olive-green feathers cover the KEA. Moreover, it has a surprise underneath its wings – bright orange! Its sharp, gray beak perfectly curves to suit its interesting diet. While it might eat some dead animals, the KEA is mostly a curious and clever bird that loves to explore its world.

7. Arctic Hare

The Arctic hare, also known by its scientific name Lepus arctics, calls the world’s tundra home. The hare is well-adapted. It has no problem with this freezing place, with its mountains and icy plains. Moreover, to keep warm, they have short ears and legs that lose less heat, along with a thick fur coat and a tiny nose. In fact, their body fat makes up a whopping 20% of their weight, another trick for staying toasty! They even dig underground burrows for shelter. These Arctic survivors can live alone or in groups. When danger strikes, they can zoom off at speeds of up to 60 km/h!

8. Lemming

Tiny but tough, lemmings are some of the smallest animals living on the Arctic tundra. Unlike most creatures there, they don’t hibernate! Instead, they’re called survival animals. They stay active under the snow, digging tunnels like little miners. Their main food is plant parts, but sometimes they’ll snack on insect larvae too. Even though they’re social distancing experts, lemmings are always busy under the snow!

9. Pika

Small and round with short legs and fluffy ears, pikas look a bit like rabbits without tails. Moreover, these small plant-eaters live high in the mountains of Asia and North America. It’s colder there than most places on Earth – even above 6,000 meters! Their favorite food? Munching on all sorts of yummy plant parts, especially grasses.

10. Musk Ox

Muskoxen live on the chilly tundra. They are tough animals built for the harsh environment. They’re famous for their thick coats that keep them warm. But that’s not all! Male muskoxen have a special trick during mating season. They release a strong smell to attract females. It was originally found in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. But, smaller groups now live in Siberia, Norway, Sweden, and even Alaska!

These are just a few examples. My cousin’s sister’s research shows the amazing variety of life in the tundra. For instance, the snowy owl, a master of camouflage, flies silently through the air. The arctic hare, on the other hand, is tireless and has powerful legs, allowing it to escape predators. In this way, each creature plays a vital role in the delicate balance of this ecosystem.

How Do Animals Survive in the Tundra?

Living in the tundra requires a suite of special adaptations. Here are some of the ways animals have learned to cope with the harsh conditions:

  • Staying Warm: Thick fur, feathers, and blubber are essential for insulation. Many animals also reduce their activity levels in winter to conserve body heat.
  • Finding Food: However, the tundra has limited availability of food. Herbivores like caribou have adapted to graze on low-lying plants and shrubs. Arctic foxes are carnivores. Moreover, they are opportunistic feeders, eating whatever prey they can find.
  • Surviving the Winter: Some animals hibernate. For example, arctic ground squirrels do so during the long winter. Food is scarce and temperatures plummet. Furthermore, others, like musk oxen, huddle together for warmth and protection from the elements.

The tundra is like a delicate house of cards, where all the animals rely on each other. Caribou munch on plants, keeping them healthy, while arctic foxes act like guards, controlling the number of smaller animals. But if even one animal goes missing, the whole system can get wobbly.

As my cousin’s sister’s research emphasizes, these changes are crucial for survival. The harsh tundra needs these adaptations. Moreover, they are a testament to the incredible power of evolution and the amazing diversity of life on Earth.

The Delicate Balance of the Tundra Ecosystem

The tundra is like a delicate house of cards, where all the animals rely on each other. Caribou munch on plants. This keeps the plants healthy. Arctic foxes act like guards. They control the number of smaller animals. But if even one animal goes missing, the whole system can get wobbly.

The tundra is like a delicate house of cards, where all the animals rely on each other. Caribou munch on plants, keeping them healthy, while arctic foxes act like guards, controlling the number of smaller animals. But if even one animal goes missing, the whole system can get wobbly.

However, climate change is a big problem for the tundra. As things get warmer, the permanently frozen ground (permafrost) is melting, and ocean ice shrinks. This makes it harder for many tundra animals to find food and places to live.

That’s why my cousin’s sister studies the tundra. It’s so important to protect these animals and their special home.

Protecting the Tundra: Ensuring a Future for its Remarkable Wildlife

The future of the tundra’s animal kingdom depends on our actions. Here are some ways we can help:

  • Supporting Conservation Efforts: Organizations working to protect the tundra and its wildlife need our support. We can donate, volunteer, or raise awareness about the challenges they face.
  • Making Sustainable Choices: Climate change is a major threat to the tundra. We can protect this special ecosystem. How? By cutting our carbon footprint and supporting policies to address climate change.
  • Learning More: Education is key to conservation. By learning about the tundra and its incredible animals. Moreover, we can become better stewards of our My sister’s passion for understanding and protecting these animals serves as an inspiration to us all. By working together, we can ensure that future generations can still marvel at the remarkable wildlife and delicate beauty of the tundra.


In conclusion, the tundra is a captivating and challenging biome that supports a remarkable array of animal life. However, from the iconic polar bear and Arctic fox to the lesser-known lemmings and ptarmigan, each species has adapted unique strategies to survive in this frozen wilderness. Furthermore, my cousin’s sister’s personal journey and research have shed light on the awe-inspiring wonders of the tundra and the importance of preserving its delicate balance. Let us cherish and protect these resilient creatures and their fragile habitat, ensuring their survival for future generations.


What is the tundra?

Firstly, the tundra is a vast, treeless biome found in the Earth’s northernmost regions. Secondly, it is characterized by cold temperatures, permafrost, and a short growing season.

What kind of animals live in the tundra?

The tundra is home to a variety of animals, including polar bears, Arctic foxes, caribou (reindeer), musk oxen, snowy owls, and various bird species.

How do animals survive in the tundra’s extreme conditions?

Animals in the tundra have adapted to the cold and harsh environment in various ways, such as growing thick fur or feathers, hibernating, migrating, or digging burrows for shelter.

Are there any plants in the tundra?

Yes, there are plants in the tundra, although they are small and low-growing due to the short growing season. Common tundra plants include mosses, lichens, dwarf shrubs, and grasses.

What are some threats to tundra wildlife?

However, climate change poses a significant threat to tundra wildlife, as it can alter their habitat, disrupt food availability, and impact migration patterns. Human activities like oil and gas exploration can also have negative effects on the tundra ecosystem.

Leave a Comment