Ice and snow as far as the eye can seethat's what life is like in the polar regions. In winter, the sun does not rise for months, and the weather becomes bitterly cold. During the summer, the sun shines day and night, and yet the polar regions never really become warm. This book takes you to the Arctic and Antarctic and shows you what it's like to live in the coldest places on Earth. Color photos, drawings, and diagrams introduce plant and animal life in the regions, the people who live in their fringe areas, and polar exploration. As barren as they seem, the poles are rich in certain kinds of food and minerals, and this richness puts them at risk from development. Attempts to save the polar regions are described.
Published by Twenty-First Century Books/Millbrook Press, 1994.
The winter temperature is 22 degrees below zero on the Alaskan tundra. Musk oxen huddle together to stay warm. During the short summer months, the snow disappears and colorful flowers bloom. Caribou return to feast on these new plants. Sandpipers walk along the water's edge, searching for insects to eat. Color photographs and drawings accompany the descriptions of this area, which stretches across northern Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Siberia, and the Scandinavian countries. The tundra supports fewer plant and animal species than do most other biomes, but the species that it does support have special ways of withstanding the harsh conditions. Take a look at the climate and geology, the plants and animals, and the people who live on the tundra.
conifer A kind of tree or shrub that bears cones. Conifers depend on the wind to spread their pollen from male cones to female cones, where seeds grow. Conifers are usually evergreen and include the pine trees and fir trees.
deciduous Having leaves that fall off at the end of a growing season and then grow back again at the beginning of the next growing season. Most deciduous plants bear flowers and have broad leaves rather than needles. Maples, oaks, and elms are deciduous trees.
Eocene Epoch The period of time during the history of the Earth starting about 58 million years ago and ending about 37 million years ago. During the Eocene Epoch, the Earth's climate was warm, and most of the larger groups of mammals we know today first appeared.
petrified Changed into minerals and hardened into rock. Plant and animal parts, such as wood and bone, become petrified when water that contains minerals gets into them and leaves the minerals. The minerals take the place of material that has decayed.