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American Museum of Natural History


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Videos, 7 minutes, 38 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, Europe, Polar Regions


YouTube Video

Fish Full of Antifreeze Protein Found Off the Coast of Greenland

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  • This resource highlights the juvenile variegated snailfish, which was found to produce the highest levels of specialized antifreeze proteins ever observed and is also the only polar fish to biofluoresce.
  • Students will learn about the rates of sea ice decline in the Arctic regions and how these warming conditions are predicted to impact specialized species, such as this snailfish.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource includes a video with engaging and informative video footage.
  • The scientists in this video provide descriptive explanations of both the challenges and unexpected discoveries involved in their work.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It may be helpful for students to see where Greenland is located on a map to better understand its size and the oceans that surround it.
  • Students may benefit from a brief explanation of bioluminescence before viewing this resource.


  • Science classes could do a deeper dive into bioluminescence in species worldwide and why it is less common in Arctic species.
  • Consider having students watch this video about the movement of Atlantic fish northward into Arctic waters and discuss the ecological implications of this, as well as the risks posed to the snailfish off the coast of Greenland.
  • Science classes learning about habitats, ecosystems, or adaptations could compare both this resource about snailfish to this video featuring the relocation of bull trout due to increasing temperatures, and discuss increased threats to particular species.
  • Provide students with an opportunity to learn more about ice loss in Greenland by watching this video and analyzing the corresponding data set.
Scientist Notes
This resource spotlights how the juvenile variegated snailfish has the highest expression of antifreeze protein fluid ever recorded in the last 50 years to respond to extreme ice conditions in Greenland. Greenland is one of the tipping points and is adversely impacted by climate change. Most common species have migrated to favorable climates and few others are building new adaptive physiology to adapt to extreme conditions. This resource is insightful and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • MS-LS4-4 Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
      • HS-LS4-2 Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.
      • HS-LS4-3 Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.3 Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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