Warmest bathers in the cold – The Japanese macaques
During winter in the Himalayan mountains where these monkeys live, temperatures can fall to below -
Coolest hunter – The polar bear
If something moves then it’s on the menu for these gigantic predators. Insulated and camouflaged by thick fur, they stalk seals across the ice. However if a pursued seal escapes into the water, which they often do, they resort to Plan B. This entails waiting patiently at a breathing hole until the seal surfaces and then seizing it with their powerful jaws.
Coolest groupies – Emperor penguins
These birds survive the harsh environment of Antarctica, where temperatures can reach a teeth chattering -
Freeze me, it’s fine! – The wood frog
When it comes to party tricks few can challenge the wood frog who can survive being frozen almost solid! The reason being that ice crystals form under the frog’s skin, and its heart stops. When the ice thaws, the frog miraculously comes to life again.
The coldest fish – The icefish
Icefish produce a natural antifreeze in their blood that enables them to withstand temperatures of zero degrees celcius -
Coldest insects – The weta & tardigrade
This large insect can stay frozen for months without frostbite, even when all heart and brain activity ceases and it has lost 99% of the water in its body. However that’s nothing compared to the tardigrade, a microscopic insect-
Shiver time – Bees and butterflies
The tundra bee keeps warm by shivering. Similarly, the monarch butterfly flaps its wings to regain warmth, enabling it to gain enough strength to fly. As dusk approaches and the temperature drops, if the butterfly cannot warm up quickly enough -
Warmest coat – The musk oxen
Helping them to keep warm, musk oxen have a thick coat of densely packed coarse hair. However in the unlikely event you pass one in the wild -
Hottest in the cold – The seal
Overheating in the Arctic isn’t something that worries most of us. But for ‘blubbertastic’ southern elephant seals it can be a real problem. Which is why in the summertime, they cool down by panting, flapping their flippers and rolling on the ground!