Our Beautiful World




SIBERIA


 

The overall topography of Siberia devides rather neatly into three broad horizontal zones.
To the north lies a great treeless tundra, extending along the whole Arctic coast from Novaya
Zemlya to Bering Strait; through the middle streched a broad belt of forest from the Ural
Mountains to the Okhotsk Sea; and to the south, arable land that shades into semi-aric desert
steppes from the southern Urals to beyond the Mongolian frontier.

 
A mountain reserve outside Krasnoyarsk    -    The northernmost trees on the Earth >72° North
From Neil Pederson 's travels

Siberia. Large mountain ranges cut across it to the south and east, majestic volcanoes on its
far horizons formed part of the Pacific rim of fire, and its mighty rivers, rivals to the Mississippi
and the Nile, could, if linked together, encircle the globe twenty-five times.
Each one of its three majour river basisns is larger than the whole of Western Europe.
In climate, it ranges from the Arctic to the semi-tropical, supports animals as divers as
camels and polar bears.

Siberia. 5.000.000 square miles, or about 7.5 % of the toal land surface of the globe.
If it were possible to move entire countries from one part of the globe to another, you could
take the whole of United States of America, and set it down in the middle of Siberia, without
touching anywhere the boundaries of the latter teritory. You could then take Alaska and all
the States of Europe, with the single exception of Russia, and fit them into the remaining
margin and after having done that, you would still have more than 300.000 square miles of
Siberian territory to spare.

  
From the Sayan Mountain Range in the south.
© Tourism in Siberia
Siberia. The name itself is a mystical term, derived from the Mongolian siber (beautiful,
wonderful, and pure), and the Tartar sibir, which means 'the sleeping land'.

The sleeping beauty at its heart is Lake Baikal, the oldest lake in the world, the largest fresh-
water lake by volume, (with about a fifth of the fresh water on the surface of the globe),
and the deepist continental body on earth. Fed by some 336 tributary rivers and streams,
it formes a crescent nearly 400 miles long, yet had once an isolated ecosystem comparable to
that of the Galapagos Islands.


  
Siberian Big-horn, Sabsan bird and snowy landscape
From 'Get Adventure in Siberia'

Of its 1,700 indigenous species of plant and animal life, 1,200 were unique - including a fish
called the golomyenka, which gave birth to live young. Baikal also had once tens of
thousands of fresh-water seals - although the nearest ocean was 1,000 miles away.

                            Above text is excerpts from the book'East of the Sun' by Benson Bobrick

Golomyanka (fat fish), Comephorus dybowskii.
The most interesting of bullheads are these fishes. The Lake wonder! Golomyanka
can be found nowhere else on the earth. It is unusually beautiful, sparkles blue and
pink in sunshine. However, the sunshine causes it to melt! Only bones and a fat spot
will be left there.

It contains about 30% of oil, rich in vitamin «A». There was a time when Tibetian
monks came to Baikal and gathered golomyanka along the shores. Its fat was used
as a remedy for many diseases. Native Siberians used it as the fuel for their lamps,
and also medicinally.The fat was was used in treatments for rheumatism,
atherosclerosis and for healing wounds.


© Röpstorf
(Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften - Paläontologie, Limnologisches Institut Irkutsk), DFG;

Golomyanka is the main and the most numerous inhabitant of Baikal, but it very
seldom gets into fishermen's nets. Its resources amount for about 150 thousand tons,
but on neither of its life stages does it swim in great gatherings, and, that's why,
it's not entered in the food-fish list. Its predator is nerpa (the Baikal seal),
for which golomyanka is the staple diet.

Golomyanka is a very independent fish and quite different from its relatives who
tend to shoal. It prefers a solitary existence. Golomyanka fish lives down in the depth
of the Lake between 700-1600 feet deep where the water temperature is low.
It is noted that the golomyanka is very sensitive to the temperature of water.
The temperature of up to +5°C is optimal for it, it avoids higher temperatures,
and +10°C is mortal for it.

This fish is small in size, 15-20 cm long. It's designed to live in extreme pressures.
Interesting are vertical migrations of Golomyanka from small depth to bottoms of very
deep depressions. At night Golomyanka rises to the water surface, and at daytime
it swims down to great depths.

Each autumn the females being viviparous instead of laying eggs produce 2000-3000
of larvae ready to swim progeny and after that they generally die.

Text from Baikal Web World
comprehensive data about lake Baikal in Siberia

This is part of our Kamchatka-pages:
 0. Main menu
 1. Preface
 3. Where on Earth is Kamchatka?
 3. Animals - Wildlife
 4. Birds - Birding
 5. Flora - Flowers and forests
 6. Sealife
 7. Valley of Geysers
 8. The Volcanoes of Kamchatka
 9. The Forests in Kamchatka
10. The Indigenous People of Kamchatka
11. Vitus Bering, explorer
12. Georg Steller, naturalist





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ANIMALS

over 250

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BIRDS

over 500

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FLOWERS

over 225
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