The icy wilderness of the polar regions are the coldest places on Earth, with winter temperatures dropping to an astonishing minus 90 degrees.
Yet diverse species live and reproduce in this barren landscape.
How is this possible?
The polar bear is one of the most iconic creatures in this environment.
A warm blooded mammal, it needs to keep its body at a constant temperature.
A thick layer of fat or blubber – and thick white fur keep heat in.
The long, outer hairs are hollow, trapping air to insulate the body and prevent the inner coat from getting wet.
And beneath its white fur, the polar bears skin is black, absorbing heat from the Sun.
Hibernation allows animals to pass the harshest winter months in a dormant state.
The heart rate slows, body temperature drops, and the animal fasts living off fat stores.
Polar bear adaptations include:
Fat or blubber
Thick insulating fur
Black skin to absorb heat
Adaptations in body size and shape help minimise heat loss.
Animals are generally rounder and bulkier in cold environments, to minimise heat loss from the body's extremities.
The Arctic fox has a round body with short legs and tail. These traits help it withstand temperatures of minus 40 degrees celsius.
However, it's a combination of physical and behavioural techniques that give species the best chance of survival.
Emperor penguins huddle together to conserve heat and protect themselves, and their young, from the wind.
This is a behavioural adaptation.
Penguins are also physically adapted to the cold with a streamline shape, thick blubber, and broad overlapping feathers.
Emperor penguin cold adaptations include:
Fat or blubber
Streamlined body shape
Broad overlapping feathers
Group together for warmth
These amazing polar frontiers of endless ice, snow and wind are the home to a whole host of amazing creatures, every one a product of adaptation.