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Amazing Animals Of The Cold Wilderness

Did You Know?

The Arctic and Antarctic are really the two last great wildernesses in the world. But they are in danger of being exploited for the wealth of their natural resources. The areas still abound in fish, iron, coal, oil and other resources. But one wonders for how long.

Antarctica is a continent surrounding the South Pole, whereas the Arctic is an ocean surrounding the North Pole. Many species of animals live solely in the Arctic area and all these creatures have learned to survive in a lonely and cruel environment that most species cannot bear. A great deal of the Arctic space is considered as a desert, because it lacks rain and snowfall. This is due to the gusty winds that sweep away any snow there is.

But even these harsh scapes rely on a delicate balance. And while they are less polluted than many other places on this earth, it is mainly due to the delicate balance of life in these regions, that any pollution is much more ruinous. Take the incident in 1989 when an oil tanker spilled oil into the waters.

If this happened here, it would take many more years to dissipate than it would do in warmer waters. And the consequences on the wildlife would be heartbreaking because they would be trapped in the oil spills. Unable to breathe or swim properly, these trapped animals would die.

This is why we have to be so careful about the preservation of this habitat, more so since man has invaded this paradise. Hunted and displaced by man, creatures like the polar bear and penguin are dwindling in numbers as their natural living and breeding grounds are lost.

In Antarctica, penguins’ breeding areas have been dug up to build airstrips. In the Arctic, the lynx, moose, the Siberian tiger, the peregrine falcon, the arctic fox, and wolf are just some of the creatures that are suffering.

Here are some interesting facts about these regions…

* The Russian station Vostok is situated at the South Geomagnetic Pole, which is where the coldest temperature ever recorded occurred.

* No rain has fallen in the Dry Valleys in Antarctica for more than two million years.

* The biggest glacier in the world, the Lambert Glacier, which runs through the Prince Charles Mountains, East Antarctica, is some 248 miles long, 25 miles wide, up to 8,200 feet deep and drains more than 3,86,000 square miles.

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