Arctic: Land of Change

Explore the Arctic as a land of evolution and adaptation with this collection of videos from the Canadian Museum of Nature. Hundreds of millions of years ago in the Arctic, fish evolved to walk out of the sea. Millions of years ago, camels, beavers and bears lived in a climate that was tropical. Today the Arctic is transforming faster than ever, with dramatic changes measured within decades. In this collection, meet experts from the Canadian Museum of Nature whose research shows us how knowledge of the Arctic’s biodiversity can offer clues to better understand climate change.

  • 2019
  • 13-14
  • 11 Titles

Included in this collection

Canadian Museum of Nature Algae in the ice and climate change

Biologist Michel Poulin describes the importance of the “lungs of the ocean” – tiny algae and phytoplankton that drive the food chain in the Arctic.
  • 2019
  • 00:01:17
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 12/13/2019

Canadian Museum of Nature Arctic fossil forest of 50 million years ago

Fossil sites in the Arctic from about 50 million years ago provide a glimpse of life that evolved in the tropical forest under extreme greenhouse conditions. The Arctic was a warm, wet, swampy, forested place 50 million years ago. Ellesmere Island is a key fossil site in Canada's High Arctic, where the remains of unique mammal species can tell us ...
  • 2011
  • 00:03:36
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 12/13/2019

Canadian Museum of Nature Arctic fossils

Giant beavers and an Arctic forest? Curator Kieran Shepherd describes some of the surprising fossil finds in Canada’s Arctic and the work required to find them.
  • 2019
  • 00:01:26
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 12/13/2019

Teacher Guide(s)

Canadian Museum of Nature Botanist Jeff Saarela discusses climate change and shrubification

Some thoughts from a botanist about how climate change could affect the range and type of plant life that is fundamental to life in the Arctic.
  • 2019
  • 00:01:14
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 12/13/2019

Canadian Museum of Nature Camel discovery in High Arctic

Who knew camels originate from the Americas and lived in the Arctic? An amazing discovery in Canada’s Arctic reveals a camel that lived on Ellesmere Island about 3.5 million years ago. New insight into camel evolution comes from an amazing discovery of bones from the leg of an extinct giant camel in Canada's High Arctic. Natalia Rybczynski, Ph.D., a palaeobiologist ...
  • 2013
  • 00:03:58
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 12/12/2019

Canadian Museum of Nature Clues to climate change in Arctic lakes and rivers

Biologist and diatom expert Paul Hamilton finds clues about climate change by studying tiny life forms in the Arctic’s lakes and rivers. Hamilton talks about his work examining microscopic life in the Arctic.
  • 2013
  • 00:02:51
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 12/18/2019

Canadian Museum of Nature Jennifer Doubt: Discovering Arctic plants

Canadian Museum of Nature Curator of Botany Jennifer Doubt joins Students on Ice, collects plants from the field and learns about traditional knowledge from elders.
  • 2014
  • 00:02:39
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 12/19/2019

Canadian Museum of Nature Lemmings: The Arctic tundra's "lunch box"

Mammalogist Dr. Dominique Fauteux introduces lemmings – the tundra’s “lunch box”. These small Arctic rodents have an ecological footprint much bigger than their tiny size would suggest. Their population cycle has a great impact on their Arctic predators — from the Arctic fox and ermine, to the snowy owl and gyrfalcon. Video presentation partially in French with English subtitles.
  • 2019
  • 00:03:48
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 12/12/2019