People live in houses, condos, apartments, farms, tents and huts. Animals also have different types of homes, depending on their species and habitat. In this post, we are going to focus on animals that live in ice and underground dens.
I bet it's not too hard to think of what animals live in ice dens...Go on, I'll give you a second...
Right! Polar Bears!
Polar bears dig their dens in the fall, where they give birth. While they are in their dens, they care for their young and don't emerge to eat or drink until the spring! The opening to the den often seals over with snow and ice, offering protection to the babies inside and also helping to keep the temperature at 32 degrees, instead of waaaayyyy below zero, like the air outside!
Many other species besides bears use dens to raise their young. Underground dens are quite common and can be found in species in many different parts of the world. The benefits are similar to the ice dens of the polar bears - protection from predators and temperature regulation - but in most cases, underground dens tend to keep their residents cooler instead of warmer. In Africa, for example, underground dens provide shade for animals such as jackals, hyenas, and bat eared foxes. In North America, the same is true for the coyote.
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It's hard to feel connected with wildlife if you aren't exposed to it. But by feeding birds where you live, you'll get a daily dose of visitors. While some species will visit all year round, others are migratory, passing through only during certain seasons. And others will surprise you by coming dressed in brightly colored breeding plumage, after you become accustomed to seeing them in their relatively dull winter tones.