Life: snowed in and surviving

Edited and illustrated by Keith Jensen* Nature & Science Editor, shunpiking magazine

WINTER, MORE THAN any other season, reveals the character of life in its various forms. We are impressed by the character of those who actively enjoy winter and we are absolutely astonished at how other life forms-animals and plants-endure and survive this, the severest of seasons. Animals and plants are challenged by low temperatures, bitter winds, ice and snow. They have three paths they can follow: being active, dormant or migratory (well, plants don't migrate). These organisms adopt different "strategies," ways of coping. Even though the choices seem simple, there are many different ways of making it through the leanest time of the year. shunpiking has asked scientists to elaborate on how living things, from plants to mammals, have adapted to the extremes of winter in the Maritimes.

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Copyright New Media Services Inc. 2004. The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of shunpiking magazine or New Media Publications.