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Animals at the extremes: Polar biology
The extreme challenges of life in the polar regions require the animals who make their habitat there to make many adaptations. This free course, Animals at the extremes: Polar biology, explores the polar climate and how animals like reindeer, polar bears, penguins, sea life and even humans manage to survive there. It looks at the adaptations to physiological proceses, the environmental effects on diet, activity and fecundity, and contrasts the strategies of aquatic and land-based animals in surviving in this extreme habitat.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- define and use, or recognise definitions and applications of each of the bold terms
- outline the special features of the polar regions as a habitat and list some contrasts between the Arctic and the Antarctic
- describe some effects of daylength on feeding, fat deposition and reproduction in arctic animals
- explain why the environmental controls of appetite, activity level and fecundity are essential adaptations to living at high latitudes and describe some physiological mechanisms involved
- describe some adaptations of fuel metabolism and bone formation to dormancy in bears.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Polar biology
- 2 Environmental regulation of physiological processes
- 3 Natural feasting and fasting
- 4 Thermal insulation
- 5 Polar ectotherms
- 6 Conclusion
- Course questions
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About this free course
14 hours study
Level 2: Intermediate
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