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Module 4 • Flora and Fauna: Me and My Habitat!
Teacher Notes 4-4
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Raven
The raven lives from the Arctic islands to northern Africa, and it is one of the few birds that can live
and survive year-round in the Arctic. Ravens eat almost anything. When they have more food than
they can eat at one time, ravens cache, or hide, their food and retrieve it later. Standing on snow
and ice is chilly, so ravens have developed knobbly feet to reduce their contact with the cold ground.
When these birds land, the small bumps on the soles of each foot touch the ground first, keeping
most of the foot off the cold snow. This protects the feet and reduces the amount of body heat lost
to the cold surface.
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Wolf
Arctic wolves generally appear white from a distance, but actually have grey, black, or reddish flecks
in their coats. Their extremely dense underfur insulates them against harsh Arctic winters. Wolves
hunt and live most of their lives in a pack with other wolves in their territory. Though wolf packs tend
to remain within a home range of 200 to 600 square miles, they will abandon their range and travel
longer distances if necessary to follow migrating herds of animals such as reindeer or caribou.
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Wolverine
Wolverines are a relative of the mink and weasel. Wolverines have tremendous physical endurance—
they are very strong. They may travel up to 40 miles each day in search of food, a necessity for an animal
that does not hibernate. Even though they are not very large (an adult male averages about 32 pounds
or 14.5 kg), wolverines are capable of bringing down some of the Arctic’s largest hoofed mammals. It can
kill moose and reindeer weighing up to 1,100 pounds (500 kg). During summer, wolverines eat a wide
variety of foods, including lemmings, voles, ground squirrels, eggs, carrion, berries, and roots.
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Arctic Fox
The Arctic fox has a gray or blue coat in the summer and a thick, warm, white coat in the winter.
They molt twice each year with the changing of the seasons. The foot pads of an Arctic fox are also
densely furred so that they can travel on the snow and ice hunting for prey. The arctic fox feeds on
lemmings, voles, squirrels, birds, bird eggs, berries, fish, and carrion. In the winter, the fox will fol-
low polar bears hoping to eat the bear’s leftovers. The Arctic fox has to be very sly or it will become
the polar bear’s dinner! In the winter they dig through the snow to capture lemmings. They have an
excellent sense of hearing, which helps pinpoint the location of snow-covered prey.
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Lynx
Lynx inhabit forested terrain and are shy and unobtrusive animals. Lynx have short tails, and usually a tuft
of black hair on the tip of the ears. They have a ruff under their neck which has black bars (hard to see)
that look like a bowtie. They have large paws padded for walking on snow and long whiskers on the face.
The color of the body varies from light brown to grey and is occasionally marked with dark brown spots,
especially on the limbs. It feeds on birds and mammals, fish, and often on sheep and goats, but its main
prey is the snowshoe hare. It is very rare to spot a lynx because they are extremely shy and solitary.
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© NOMADS Online Classroom Expeditions GoNorth! Chukotka 2007 Curriculum 47
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