How does adaptation occur in the Polar-region?

Polar Regions are characterized by extreme cold and long snowy winters. Organisms living here have to adapt themselves to extreme cold. The animals in these regions are usually white or light colored, e.g., polar bear, penguin. This adaptation helps them in maintaining their body temperature, and in camouflaging. These animals can store fat in their body as they eat a lot during the summer.

The stored fat can be consumed during the winter months because the animals hibernate for months, i.e., go into a state of inactivity, during severe winters. In hibernation, their metabolic activity is reduced to a great extent. In this state, their heartbeat, breathing rate and temperature become very low. Furred soles of the feet of polar bears protect them from cold and prevent them from slipping.

Plants adapted to the Polar Regions are short in height. They remain dormant for several months. The leaves are narrow like spines which shed rapidly. Due to very low temperature, trees are not usually found in these regions.