Questions for ‘Welcome to the Arctic’s all-night undersea party’


Tiny but mighty, this copepod is one of many Arctic animals that stay active throughout the long winter night.

Epipelagic/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

To accompany feature “Welcome to the Arctic’s all-night undersea party”


Before Reading

1.    What things in your life might change if the sun didn’t come up for weeks or even months at a time?

2.    What are some ways that animals might adapt to living in the dark?

During Reading

1.    What causes day and night?  

2.    Why does the sun not come up in winter at the North Pole?

3.    Why did scientists expect the Arctic ecosystem to slow down during the polar night?

4.     What surprised Jørgen Berge about copepod movements during winter?

5.     What sources of naturally occurring light are still present throughout the Arctic winter?

6.     Why are polar cod so important to the Arctic food web?

7.     What did the ring seals ultimately help Louis Fortier’s team learn about polar cod?

8.     What surprised Kit Kovacs when she listened to recordings of bowhead whale songs?

9.     Why might less sea ice lead to problems for animals that live in Arctic waters?

10.   What did Jørgen Berge and his colleagues learn about plankton by using a remotely operated vehicle?

After Reading

1.     Lights go everywhere people go. In your own neighborhood, how do you think artificial lights, such as street lamps, affect the animals that live there?

2.     Some of the scientists described in this story learned that their presence changed animals’ behavior (for example, Louis Fortier’s team and ring seals, and Jørgen Berge’s ship and plankton). Do you think scientists should continue to study life in the Arctic? Why or why not?