Although it may look like a frozen wasteland, especially during the months when the sun never rises, the subarctic shrubland provides a comfortable home to creatures both large and small who have adapted to this harsh environment. Considered one of nature's most challenging specialized ecosystems, subarctic shrublands are classified as biomes because they have similar characteristics in relation to climate and geographical location in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Existing alongside the vast expanses of frozen tundra along the Arctic Circle, the subarctic shrublands are defined by the fact that the scattered bushes, often thickets of willows, are interspersed across the relatively flat tundra and do not form dense or impenetrable growth.Polar bears
, known scientifically as Ursus maritimus, are the most prominent species roaming the subarctic shrublands because they can hunt for seals and fish in the frigid waters that border these regions while raising their cubs on land. The arctic fox
, or Alopex lagopus, scavenges the leftovers that polar bears leave in their wake. An interesting inhabitant of this inhospitable region is a subspecies of the African sheath-tailed bat, Coleura afra, who thrives on the insects that live in bushes abundant in this type of dry shrubland.
BatsAfrican sheath-tailed bat
Read more at the list of biomes of the world