From plants to animals, big to small, the Arctic is home to a huge and diverse ecosystem.
Like the Arctic hare, the Arctic fox is known to shift colours in its fur.
Near the caribou is the ringed seal.
For thousands of years people have been at home in the Arctic. This display case shows some of the products made from resources of the Arctic- fur coats, or the corset and lamp oil that would have found part of their material in whales.
A polar bear specimen is close by.
Climate in the far north has not always been what it is, nor will it always be. A skeleton and skull are displayed side by side of animals that no longer exist in this form. The High Arctic camel is seen at the left, a replica based on fragments of bones found on Ellesmere Island. The bones were 3.5 million years old, and it is thought that the animal would have been 30% bigger than current day camels. The skull of a mammoth is at right; with the end of the last ice age, the various species died out several thousand years ago.
This 3D map of the Arctic uses a white lit line to designate the Arctic Circle- that latitude beyond which the sun does not rise on the longest night of the year, nor set on the longest day of the year. Other lines on the map designate the treeline or continuous permafrost.
Displayed here are recovered artifacts of the ill fated Franklin Expedition of the 1840s, sent out to find a route through the Northwest Passage. Items like buttons, pipes, or other tools were found by various search parties looking for the two ships commanded by John Franklin, but it wasn't until recent years that the ships themselves were located in Arctic waters.
The Canadian Arctic Expedition was a scientific survey of the far north done a century ago, from 1913-18. Some of its artifacts are now here.
I leave off today with this item. While white people are a more recent arrival in the northern reaches of North America, the land has been populated by thousands of years by First Nations peoples who lived off the land and made responsible use of its resources. This parka dates back to 1916 and uses caribou skin as its primary material, typical of Inuit traditions. This is actually a warmer weather parka, meant to be used with a heavier outer coat in colder seasons.