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Organisms living in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are exposed to strong constraints, of which temperature is a driving factor. Evolution has led to special adaptations, some with important implications at the biochemical, physiological, and molecular levels. The northern and southern polar oceans have very different characteristics. Tectonic and oceanographic events have played a key role in delimiting the two polar ecosystems and influencing evolution. Antarctica has been isolated and cold longer than the Arctic; its ice sheet developed at least 10 million years earlier. As an intermediate system, the Arctic is a connection between the more extreme, simpler Antarctic system and the very complex temperate and tropical systems. By studying the molecular bases of cold adaptation in polar fish, and taking advantage of the information available on hemoglobin structure and function, we analysed the evolutionary history of the and globins of Antarctic and Arctic hemoglobin using the molecular clock hypothesis as a basis for reconstructing the phylogenetic relationships among species.