Arctic Life/Arctic Animals/Mammals

From Arctic Bioscan Wiki


Mammals are warm-blooded animals which are partially or completely covered with fur. They give birth to live young, which means that mammals also have mammary glands so they can produce milk for offspring.[1] Mammals play an extremely important role in ecosystems; either acting as prey for other organisms, or predators which regulate prey populations.[2]

The term mammal is rather recent and was proposed by Linnaeus in 1758 in the final edition of his book, Systema Naturae. He derived the term mammalia from the words for breast and animal (mamma + animalia = mammalia). From this derived the vernacular English term "mammal". Basically, members of the class Mammalia are distinguished from other animals by the possession of mammary glands and hair. Mammals owe some of their evolutionary success to endothermy, their ability to produce and control body heat internally. However, mammals are distinct in many other ways as well.

This section delves into countless amazing facts about Arctic mammals, their biology, hunting and trapping regulations, and Inuit legends, cultures, and languages regarding mammals. Please explore the pages below to learn more about different Arctic mammals!

Northern Mammals

There are 14 groups of mammals present in the Arctic, and each is more interesting than the last. We have compiled a list of Arctic mammals that you would most likely encounter in the North. Please click below to learn more about each group, and each unique species.

To see a full list of marine mammals identified in the Arctic, please click here. Similarly, a list for terrestrial Arctic animals can be found here.


Mammals are extremely interesting and unique animals. If you would like to learn about the biology of mammals, please browse the topics below.

  1. Canadian Wildlife Foundation. (2019). Mammals. Retrieved from
  2. Canadian Wildlife Foundation. (2019). All About Mammals. Retrieved from