11 Interesting Animals in Greenland You may not Know About
Greenland, an enigmatic land of ice and snow. It holds within a diverse and intriguing world of interesting animals in Greenland. Despite the dominance of the Inland Ice Sheet, interesting animals in Greenland have managed to carve out their own domain by adapting to the challenges of its unique environment.
From polar bears that roam the frozen tundra to the whales that navigate in sea ice waters, Greenland’s wildlife ecosystem is a living prove to the nature’s adaptability for survival.
Did you know? Walruses tusks can grow up to several meters in length.
Where to Find Interesting Animals in Greenland?
With more than 80% Ice sheet covering majority of the land, any possible way for interesting animals in Greenland to survive seems like a challenge. Plant life in southern Greenland is more abundant.
However, even the extreme cold couldn’t stop mother nature. Therefore, you will experience land mammals and bird species breeding, travelling, and mating in the oceans, mountains and land.
Northeast Greenland National Park: Arctic Paradise and the Fascinating Wildlife Within
At Greenland National Park, tourists experience nature’s Arctic paradise, which covers over 970,000 square kilometres, as it proudly holds the title of the world’s largest national park.
Among the interesting large land mammals are the musk ox , the reindeer ,the polar bear and the white Arctic wolf .
It is Home to a diverse interesting animals in Greenland. The Greenland National Park is a captivating sanctuary where untamed wildlife thrives with icy glaciers.
Polar Bears – Discovering the Mighty Arctic Giants
One of the most interesting Marine Mammals of Greenland is the Polar Bearas they can swim constantly for days. Polar bears are known as fierce hunter bears but only less than 2% of the hunts are successful. The polar bear is one of Greenland’s most iconic animals and the world’s largest land predator.
The polar bear reigns as the major predator of the Arctic. Polar bears are admired for their immense strength and adaptability in extreme cold habitat. Polar bear skin is actually black under their thick white fur and a layer of blubber, they use to fight the freezing temperatures. Spotting a polar bear in its native environment is an experience that words can hardly do justice.
The Iconic Polar Bear The symbol of the Arctic, the polar bear, occupies a significant place in Greenland’s collective consciousness.
Terrestrial Mammals in Greenland
Polar bears one of the interesting animals in Greenland, and stand as icons of the Arctic wilderness. Polar bears roam the northern coasts, winning everyday survival challenges in the harsh Arctic conditions. There are around 19 subpopulations of polar bears. Sharing this realm are reindeer and musk oxen, each with their unique adaptations to thrive in a challenging landscape.
Polar bears face more threats beyond climate change, including habitat destruction from oil exploration, exposure to toxic chemicals through their prey, and increased human-bear conflicts due to melting sea ice.
Did you Know? Grizzly Polar Bear hybrids are real, living creatures resembling half polar bears and half-wild bears that evolved nearly 150,000 years ago.
Reindeer – The Majestic Wanderers
In the arctic wonderland of Greenland National Park, the reindeer roam with elegance. Their antlers, a view to watch, serve not only as crowns but also as vital tools for survival.
These hardy creatures move with their hooves adapted to dig through the snow to uncover the moss that sustains them. Witnessing a herd of reindeer moving harmoniously across the snowy plains is a scene that resonates deeply with the essence of untouched wilderness.
Reindeer: Santa’s Northern Counterpart
The image of Santa’s reindeer comes to life in the northern parts of Greenland. These graceful creatures, also known as caribou, walk in the sunlit regions in herds.
Their remarkable speed and ability to adapt to the environment make them interesting animals of the Arctic ecosystem.
The Snowy Owl
The stark white plumage of the snowy owl contrasts vividly with the snowy background of Greenland’s icy realm. With keen eyes that help them see through the darkness of the Arctic night, these owls are masters of the hunt.
Their silent flight and remarkable adaptability make them the “Ultimate predators of the skies.” Encountering a snowy owl in flight, its wings spanning wide in a silent glide is a view worth watching.
Whales of the Arctic Seas
Beneath the icy surface of the Arctic seas, the Artic Whales live and thrive. Whales of the Arctic Sea are marine mammals adapted to thrive in the icy waters. Greenlandic waters have 15 different species of whale, but the most seen are the humpback whale, minke and fin whale.
The humpback whale stands out. With its impressive size and acrobatic displays, the humpback is a true acrobat of the ocean.
These whales, often up to 18 meters in length and 30 tons in weight, make watchers curios, approach boats and leaping out of the water. While exploring Greenland’s fjords, you might also encounter the minke whale, recognisable by its pointy snout and distinctive markings.
The bowhead whale resides primarily in the Arctic and subarctic waters. Bowhead whales have developed adaptations to cope with their icy environment, such as a thick layer of blubber up to 1.6 feet thick for insulation.
Once heavily targeted by commercial whaling, the Western Arctic bowhead population has shown considerable recovery, estimated at around 12,505 individuals as of 2019. These whales possess an incredible ability to break through thick sea ice using their massive, bow-shaped skulls.
Another unique inhabitant of the Arctic waters is the narwhal, often referred to as the “unicorn of the sea.” These interesting animals are known for their long, spiralled tusks, which are actually elongated teeth with sensory capabilities containing up to 10 million nerve endings.
These whales spend their lives in the chilly waters of the Arctic, where they feed on Greenland halibut, Arctic and polar cod, squid, and shrimp. Narwhals can dive about a mile deep in the ocean, surfacing through cracks in the sea ice for air. Despite their mysterious and captivating appearance, narwhals face threats from climate change, shipping activity, and underwater noise pollution.
Arctic Foxes: Masters of Adaptation
Survival in the Arctic demands ingenuity, and the Arctic Fox is a living example of adaptability found on the west coast of Greenland. It can grow up to 1 metre long, including a 30 cm bushy tail. The arctic fox’s resourcefulness extends to its diet, ranging from small rodents to scavenged carrion. Observing an Arctic fox navigate the challenges of its environment is a lesson in the art of survival.
Meet the Agile Fox
The Arctic Fox is known for its white coat during winter and a striking brown hue in the summer. This cunning creature perfectly blends into the ever-changing surroundings. These foxes are categorised as “Least Concern” on the red list of IUCN.
Avian Diversity of Interesting Animals in Greenland
Greenland’s skies are alive with the vibrant presence of avian species. While over 230 bird species fly over this region at different times, only 30 remain year-round residents. Among them are the sea eagles and resilient sparrows that dominate the skies.
White-Tailed Eagle – Exploring the Avian Wonder
The White-tailed Eagle, also known as the Sea Eagle or Erne, is a majestic bird found in Northern Europe and Asia. With a wingspan that rivals any eagle, it can reach speeds up to 70km/h while hunting for fish near the water’s surface.
This opportunistic predator feeds on fish, birds, small mammals, and carrion. Mating rituals involve intricate aerial displays and bonding for life. Their nests are built with sticks in trees or cliffs, and they can live up to 25 years.
These eagles, known for their white tail feathers, are apex predators without natural predators of their own. They also appear in the coat-of-arms of Germany and are the largest eagles in Europe, with over 12,000 individuals in Europe alone.
List of Interesting Animals in Greenland with Facts
Greenland’s animal kingdom is as diverse as its landscapes. From the charming Arctic foxes to the massive musk oxen, each species has uniquely adapted to its surroundings. These creatures not only survive but thrive, offering a glimpse into the intricate balance of nature.
Walruses: Unique Marine Creatures
Walruses, tusker seals of the Arctic seas, lend an exotic touch to Greenland’s marine life. With massive tusks and an imposing presence, they navigate the coastal waters with surprising agility. As peaceful grazers of the sea floor, these creatures coexist with kayakers and sea enthusiasts, offering a memorable encounter with the wild.
Musk Ox: Greenland’s Mighty Herbivore
The musk ox, a true emblem of resilience, is the largest terrestrial animal in Greenland. Sporting impressive horns and a furry coat, these herbivores thrive in herds across the country. The value of their fur and meat, along with their conservation status, reflects the intricate relationship between humans and these majestic creatures.
Unearth the Giant Walrus
Venture to the remote shores of Greenland to catch sight of the enigmatic Walrus. These gentle giants of the sea gather in groups known as Haulouts, offering a rare chance to observe their social interactions and distinctive tusks. Our tours combine expert guidance with responsible viewing practices to ensure a respectful encounter with these remarkable marine mammals.
Arctic Hare – the Resilient Snow Dwellers
Arctic hares thrive in the North American tundra and exhibit remarkable adaptations to survive the harsh conditions.
Arctic hares are omnivores, spanning 19 to 26 inches in body length with a 1 to 3-inch tail, weighing 6 to 15 pounds. Their agility is noteworthy, bounding at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.
The arctic hare’s resourceful diet includes woody plants, mosses, lichens, buds, berries, leaves, roots, and bark. These hares are listed as “Least Concern” animals on the red list of IUCN.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are 5 animals of Greenland?
Some animals in Greenland are the polar bear, Arctic fox, reindeer, muskox, and Arctic wolf.
What is the most common animal in Greenland?
The most common animal in Greenland is the polar bear.
Which animals is known for its fur in Greenland?
The polar bear is considered one of the most important animals for its fur in Greenland.
What animals are only found in Greenland?
Some of the animals unique to Greenland include the Arctic wolf, stoat, Arctic lemming, and the rare wolverine in the northernmost and north-eastern regions, where no humans live.