Antarctica is a landmass known for being frigid and unwelcoming to many forms of life. While Antarctica consists of very little plant life and is covered in a sheet of ice, life does exist there. From several species of seals to whales, penguins, and more, the South Pole is home to plenty of wildlife. These Antarctica animals often have strange adaptations and behaviors that help them survive in such a harsh environment, making them some of the most interesting species on Earth.
What are Animals in Antarctica?
Animals in Antarctica include those species that inhabit the icy continent. Emperor penguins, King penguins, and Chinstrap penguins are a few types of penguins that live on the island. Weddell seals, fur seals, and Elephant seals reside there as well, as well as several kinds of birds and whales.
List of Antarctica Animals
1. Seals. Leopard seals, Antarctic fur seals, Crabeater seals, Weddell seals, and Southern Elephant seals all call this continent home.
2. Penguins. Emperor penguins, Adelie penguins, Chinstrap penguins, King penguins, and Gentoo penguins are some of the most common penguin species that can be found in Antarctica.
3. Whales. The Killer whale or Orca, the Humpback whale, the Fin whale, and the Blue whale are all known to pass through the waters surrounding Antarctica.
4. Other Birds. Wandering Albatross, Antarctic Skuas, Snow Petrels, and Giant Petrels are just some bird species that can be found flying through the skies of Antarctica.
5. Other Sea Life. Many types of fish and krill serve as prey to other wildlife in Antarctica, and allow several species to live and even to thrive in an otherwise barren and unforgiving environment.
Antarctica Animal Facts
- Weddell seals will often prey on squid and octopus, as well as fish and prawns.
- Despite being one of the largest seal species there is, Elephant seals have natural predators such as whales and even Leopard seals.
- Leopard seals are known for being dangerous, and attacks on humans have been recorded.
- Emperor penguins are the largest species of penguin in the world, averaging 45 inches in height.
- Chinstrap penguins get their names from the black marking under their chin, that looks like a chinstrap.
- Adelie and Gentoo penguins both present smooth pebbles as gifts to potential mates, as they live on rocky ground and often must use pebbles to build their nests.
- Blue whales can live up to 90 years in the wild.
- Scientists have been unsuccessful thus far in accurately measuring the bite force of the Killer Whale.
- No natural predators exist for the adult Wandering Albatross. Their hatchlings and eggs, however, are at risk of several species dining on them. These include other birds, pigs, rats, and domesticated cats.
- Antarctic Skuas can be seen migrating from the coast of Washington State in the late summer to fall each year.
- Several species of Antarctic fish have adapted to the frigid environment, with proteins in their bodies acting as antifreeze so that they can survive the cold.
- The Antarctic toothfish can live for up to 50 years in the wild.
- Krill in the waters around Antarctica swim in swarms of up to 30,000 members.
Common Animals that Live in Antarctica
- Emperor Penguins: These are the largest of all penguin species and are known for their distinctive black and white markings. They are well adapted to the cold temperatures and harsh conditions of Antarctica.
- Weddell Seals: These seals are known for their unique vocalizations and are found in large numbers in Antarctica. They are well adapted to the cold temperatures and can dive to great depths in search of food.
- Antarctic Krill: These small, shrimp-like creatures are a crucial food source for many of the animals that live in Antarctica, including whales, seals, and penguins.
- Antarctic Fur Seals: These seals have a thick layer of blubber that helps them stay warm in the cold waters of Antarctica. They are known for their distinctive ear flaps and can be found in large numbers on the beaches of Antarctica.
- Snow Petrels: These birds are well adapted to the cold temperatures of Antarctica and have a pure white plumage that helps them blend in with the snowy landscape.
- Antarctic Terns: These birds are known for their distinctive black and white markings and can be found nesting in large colonies on the rocky shores of Antarctica.
- Southern Elephant Seals: These seals are the largest of all seal species and are known for their distinctive trunk-like noses. They are well adapted to the cold temperatures of Antarctica and can dive to great depths in search of food.
Last Updated on November 1, 2023