Some resident animals of the taiga include: the cow moose, black bear, squirrels, ermine, chipmunk, snowshoe hare, lynx, buffalo, and ptarmigan. These animals need to be perfectly adapted to the taiga's significantly different seasons. Some resident animals get ready for the winter by storing extra fat layers on their bodies to keep warm. Many resident animals need to change their diets for each season. For example, in the summer and spring the cow moose eats water plants and plant shoots, and in fall and winter they search for twigs, berries, and conifer branches. Other animals, like the ermine change their coat color from brown in the summer and fall to white in the winter and spring to blend with the snow. Their spring and summer coats are also thinner so they can keep cooler during days with higher temperatures. Others resident animals like chipmunks, hibernate during the winter. They maintain their body temperature just above the freezing point so their tissues do not freeze while they hibernate.
Animals, such as the lynx and snowshoe hare, grow extra fur on the bottom of their feet to tread on snow easier. It also keeps their feet warm and spreads their weight more evenly on the snow so they do not sink. Heavier animals, like the caribou and bison, plow through the snow rather than treading on top of it. A lead animal makes paths through the snow for the rest of the herd to follow. Other animals, like fox and wolves, also make use of these paths.
Some animals, such as lemmings, mice, shrews, and voles, live beneath the snow during the winter. They live in snow tunnels. Snow tunnels are formed because the surface of the earth gives off heat and causes a thin layer of snow right above the ground to evaporate. This creates a narrow tunnel beneath the snow. The snow above these tunnels acts as insulation and keeps temperatures just below freezing. This allows lemmings, shrews, mice, and voles to stay safe from the harsh weather so they can reproduce. Bears also reproduce during the winter. They give birth to their cubs in their dens. They remain there until the spring when days get longer and warmer.