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Wildlife in the Arctic

Wildlife in the Arctic The Polar Bear A symbol of the power and fragility of the Far North, the polar bear is a source of fascination for its immaculate fur coat, its calm elegance and its mysterious aura. While the Lord of the Ice weighs just a few hundred grams at birth, a fully grown male can weigh 700 kg and is relatively solitary, endlessly roaming the ice of the Arctic Circle in search of ideal hunting and fishing sites. An excellent swimmer, its webbed feet which allow it to venture into deep water, and its fur is adapted to underwater excursions, providing protection against temperatures as low as -40°C. The Brown Bear Alaska is the archetype of wild lands and is one of the great unspoilt regions of the world. It is no surprise that the brown bear has made its home there. A distant cousin of the grizzly, the brown bear is easily recognised by its imposing size and its brown fur. The arrival of summer is the wake-up call for brown bears; the crystal lakes and streams are their main larder, especially during the salmon spawning season. The abundance of food at this time brings them out of their hiding places, making it easier to observe them – particularly the mothers and their winter-born cubs. The Orca A member of the dolphin family, this master of the oceans is without doubt the most emblematic mammal of the Arctic waters. Orcas generally live in groups of up to 30 members, can reach 9 metres in length and their markings are very distinctive with an entirely black back, a white belly and a white patch above the eye. Their powerful body is topped with a fin, the shape of which varies, taking the form of an isosceles triangle or curved according to gender, making it possible to identify male and female specimens. Audacious and agile, they will happily swim in the wake left by your ship during your cruise. The Arctic Fox Also called snow fox, the Arctic fox is perfectly adapted to Arctic life. With short, rounded ears that limit heat loss, this small canine is a master at the art of camouflage. In winter, its thick white coat enables it to blend into the snow-covered landscapes of the Far North, while in summer its greyish coat allows it to roam around the tundra without drawing attention. Scandinavian legend tells that the Arctic fox brings the Aurora Borealis, the spectacular light show that illuminates the sky during polar nights. In ancient Finnish, Aurora Borealis means "fox fire". The Bald Eagle The fascinating, emblematic and surprising bald eagle nests in the heart of Canada’s forests near large bodies of water. Its immaculate white head and tail, which contrast with the dark brown of the rest of its plumage, distinguish this proud and wild bird from other eagles. The bald eagle is fond of community life and mates for life. During your cruise, you might have the privilege of admiring the unique spectacle of this great lord of the Canadian skies as it circles above the towns and cities without ever really approaching them. The Sea Otter The sea otter, with its long, streamlined body and thick brown fur, is the smallest marine mammal in the world. If this charming little rodent prefers to live near the shore in shallower waters with rocky beds, this is more because of its dietary preferences than any fear of the open sea. The sea otter feeds on crabs, sea urchins and fish. Sea otters can be found floating gently on their backs or wrapped around giant seaweeds, which help hold them in place while they feed or sleep. 40 | Summer 2018 / Winter 2018 - 2019 Cruises

1 2 3 4 5 6 1 - Sea Otter 2 - Arctic Fox 3 - Brown Bear 4 - Bald Eagles 5 - Polar Bears 6 - The Orca Arctic Expeditions by | 41