Location of the arctic tundra biomes
Location of the arctic tundra biomes
 
 
Tundra in the summer
Tundra in the summer
 
 
Arctic fox with its summer fur
Arctic fox with its summer fur
 
 
Caribou
Caribou
 
 
Musk ox
Musk ox
 
 
Snowy owl
Snowy owl
 
 
Inuit hunter
Inuit hunter
 
Arctic Tundra
Topic(s):   Biomes, Habitats
Quick Facts
Location northern North America and Eurasia
Temperature Range cold all year -30F to 50F (-34C to 10C)
Area of coverage 1/5 of the earth's land area 11,500,000 square miles (30,000,000 square kilometers)
Plants grasses, sedges, heather, mosses, lichens, shrubs
Animals polar bears, arctic foxes, caribou, musk ox, lemmings, snowy owls, ermines, ptarmigans, insects

The Arctic Tundra biome is a barren land. It has small bushes but no trees. The shrubs grow in cracks with small areas of soil. Water is not available in the tundra biome most of the year. The tundra is very cold much of the time. It is the coldest and driest biome on earth. It is also the youngest biome on earth.

Winter in the tundra is very cold and dark. The dry tundra does not get much snow in the winter. The cold air keeps the snow and ground frozen. Permafrost covers the tundra all year. Permafrost is a frozen layer of ground under the surface. It never thaws. Winter lasts for about 9 months!

Living on the tundra during winter is hard. Some animals hide in tunnels underground. Insects dig into the ground. They stay frozen until summer. Some animals camouflage themselves by turning white. The fur on tundra animals gets thicker. Other animals leave the area during winter.

In summer, the sun starts to warm the tundra. The top layer of ground thaws. The tundra becomes soggy. Marshes and bogs form on the top. They are wetlands that cannot drain because of the permafrost underneath.

Animals come out of hiding. Some shed their fur. Others turn from white to brown. The animals that left the tundra come back in summer to make nests and have babies.

The tundra is important to the Inuit people. Inuit people live in the tundra. They hunt and fish to survive.

Check out Arctic Tundra Animals topic

Citation information

APA Style: Arctic Tundra. (2014, September). Retrieved from Facts4Me at http://www.facts4me.com

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