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YIKES! What's THIS?
When the ice melts, the bears are forced ashore into mosquito country, and sometimes they dig dens in the earth to try to escape both the heat and the biting bugs.
Mosquitoes appear in late spring, just as the caribou shed their long winter hair. The pests can easily draw blood at this time, and caribou try to avoid them any way they can. They run, stand in windy areas, move to snow and ice patches that are too cool for the insects, or venture out into lakes or shallow salt water.
Then there's the warble flies! The fly lays eggs on the hairs of the caribouís legs and lower body. The eggs hatch into larvae that "dig in" and travel under the skin to the caribouís back (Picture: TOP). The warbles grow there until early summer, when they break through the skin and drop to the ground.
Larvae are yellowish-white, oval-shaped grubs about 1 inch / 2Ĺ cm long (Picture: RIGHT), and over 1,000 warbles have been found on a single caribou! Ouch!
Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Arctic, Arctic Animals, Land
Links: Arctic, Arctic Animals
Guide to Arctic Sunrise & Sunset
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports
DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?