Cover

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Title page, Dedication

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Contents

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p. 1

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Acknowledgments

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p. 2

The Arctic Guide is the product of many people to whom I am greatly indebted. First, let me thank Robert Kirk and his staff at Princeton University Press for their patience, assistance, and unflagging support of this project from day one. Nigel Redman, former Head of Natural History at Bloomsbury Publishing, ...

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About This Book

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p. 3

This book was designed to be used by travelers to the Far North, whether they are heading to places as far north as Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic Islands or as far south as Kamchatka, the Aleutians, or Hudson Bay. Thus, coverage was extended to plants and animals that occur from the High Arctic to the northern sectors of the boreal forests and taiga. ...

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Geographic Coordinates

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p. 4

Below is a list of a few places mentioned in the text, along with their geographic coordinates, expressed in degrees (°) and minutes (') of latitude and longitude. The coordinates pinpoint where a place is located on the globe. LATITUDE is the angular distance of a place on the globe north or south of the equator. ...

Glossary

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pp. 5-9

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Arktos

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p. 10

To the Ancient Greeks, The Arctic was the realm of Boreas, god of the north wind, and the region where the celestial sphere of northernmost stars was always visible. They called this place Arktos, meaning “bear,” alluding to the Great Bear and Little Bear constellations, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. ...

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Defining the Arctic

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p. 11

The Arctic is the region of land and ocean that centers roughly on the North Pole and extends southward to and beyond the Arctic Circle. It is a place of exaggerated seasonality with brief, cool summers and long, dark, icy winters. This vast wilderness, also known as the Far North, encompasses the Arctic Ocean, the world’s largest island (Greenland), and parts of eight countries: ...

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Map of the Arctic

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pp. 12-24

Shields, platforms, and mountains form the base of the arctic landscape. These natural features are known as geomorphic or physiomorphic provinces—large spatial entities that share common origins and geologic attributes. ...

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Mammals

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pp. 25-126

All mammals, from humans to lemmings to muskoxen to whales, share certain physical features. All mammals possess modified sweat glands called mammary glands, which in a female can produce milk. All have body hair, at least at the beginning of their lives, and all have a four-chambered heart, single-boned lower jaw, and a middle ear composed of three bones. ...

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Birds

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pp. 127-372

Feathers are the distinguishing feature of birds. Birds are also characterized by having a bony beak with no teeth, forelimbs modified into wings, a skeleton with hollow bones, and a four-chambered heart. They are warm-blooded (ectothermic) and have a high metabolic rate. They lay eggs (oviparous). Birds walk, hop, and run on two legs, and almost all species can fly. ...

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Fishes

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pp. 373-398

Fishes were the first vertebrates to evolve, and from them most other forms of vertebrate life developed. There are about 32,000 fish species worldwide. Arctic waters are home to more than 250 species, the majority of which occupy salt water for all or most of their lives. Only a few of the major food and game fish, and those that have curiosity value, are described and illustrated here. ...

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Lizards and Frogs

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pp. 399-400

Only one species of lizard and three species of frogs are known to occur in the arctic zone. These cold-blooded creatures must bask in the sun to warm to an optimal body temperature. They have adapted to the severe arctic climate by entering a state of winter dormancy—a period when growth, development, and physical activity are temporarily stopped in order to minimize metabolic activity and conserve energy. ...

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Flies, Bees, and Butterflies

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pp. 401-424

Insects belong to the large phylum arthropoda, which includes all jointed-legged invertebrates. With an estimated six to ten million living species, insects represent more than half of all known living organisms. They are the most numerous arctic animals, with some 2200 species occurring in the North American Arctic alone. ...

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Flora

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pp. 425-534

More than 2200 species of vascular plants occur in the Arctic north of the treeline. Species diversity is generally low, and it decreases from the boreal forests to the polar deserts of the extreme north. Flowering plants constitute about 90 percent of the arctic flora, conifers less than 2 percent, and mosses, bryophytes, and algae the remaining 8 percent. ...

Bibliography

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pp. 535-536

Indexes

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pp. 537-542