Housing an area of about 14 million square kilometers and being the southernmost continent on the planet, this white scenery is one of the most spectacular places in the world. It was discovered in 1820, although it was in 1895 when the first landing took place. The term "Antarctic continent" means "opposite to the Arctic" and is home to many unique and curious species. But what are they? And what characteristics do they have? And what do the animals of Antarctica eat?
If you want to know more about the fauna of antarctica and learn about this white and frozen place, we encourage you to continue reading this article about 25 animals of Antarctica that we present to you in Green Ecologist.
Black in color and with a white belly, the King penguinsAptenodytes patagonicus) they are the second largest species of penguins. With a lifespan of up to 25 years in the wild, these penguins make numerous dives to depths of more than 100 m, hardly ever returning to the surface quickly. They are characterized by forming large colonies, of up to 200,000 birds in the South Georgia islands.
These Antarctic mammals They are characterized by a silvery-brown hue and by having spots, especially the young, as well as by their diet, which is very varied: from small crustaceans to cephalopods. The Antarctic seal or Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) It has a great diving capacity, being able to be submerged for up to 80 continuous minutes and up to 600 m deep. This ability is possible thanks to the fact that it has a greater number of red cells and more blood volume.
Another of the antarctic animals best known is the marine leopardHydrurga leptonyx). Characterized by being quite aggressive, among the antarctic mammals this species is solitary and has a dark gray color, with a light gray hue on the belly.
Have you ever wondered what is the smallest animal in Antarctica? The answer to this question lies in these crustaceans with a peculiar appearance, as they present translucent bodies with a pink hue and yellow parts. The krill or Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) It is known to be the main food of whales, as they are part of the zooplankton on which they feed. There are about 85 species worldwide and it has a life expectancy of up to 5 years.
The Adelie penguinsPygoscelis adeliae) they are a kind of little penguins. They are black with a white belly. They have facial feathers around the bill. They can reach 75 kilometers per hour and have a life expectancy of between 11 and 20 years.
With a strong resemblance to some species of gulls, but dark in color, the pay them big (Stercorarius skua) They are a large species of bird, with powerful wings and characterized by an aggressive character, as it attacks other seabirds to take away their food.
If you like birds, we encourage you to read this other article about waterfowl: characteristics, types and names.
Other of the south pole animals best known are the pemperor ingguins (Aptenodytes forsteri). Their back and head are black, they have a yellow circle around their neck and their belly is white. When swimming in the icy waters, they reach a depth of 550 meters and can remain submerged for up to 20 minutes.
The Antarctic cormorantLeucocarbo bransfieldensis), as its name suggests, it is one of the Antarctic animals which is considered exclusive to the area or endemic. His most relevant peculiarity are his blue eyes, which give him his name as the blue eyed cormorant. It is between 70 and 80 centimeters in size and weighs up to 3.5 kilograms. As a curious fact about this species, is that it has feathers that are not totally waterproof, so that when they get wet they cause an increase in weight to the animal that facilitates immersion.
It is another of the animals of Antarctica or South Pole. Although it is not an endemic species to this region, it can be seen regularly. It is the largest whale in the world and, in fact, the animal that has been recognized as the largest on the planet today. The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), also known under the name of blue fin whale, is a cetacean that has a length of between 24 and 27 meters and can weigh up to 150 tons (the weight of an adult specimen usually oscillates between 50,000 and 150,000 kg), although they have been registered cases of more than 30 meters and 170 tons. It is characterized by a long and stylized figure, with a bluish-gray hue.
Here we talk about why the blue whale is in danger of extinction.
If we talk about birds of antarctica, we must highlight this little bird and, at the same time, delicate. The head of the Antarctic petrelThalassoica antarctica) It is brown in color and gradually changes towards the chest until it reaches a white hue. Their diet includes krill, Antarctic fish, and squid, among others.
We recommend that you read about The importance of birds for the environment here.
In the previous sections we have detailed Antarctic animal information mentioned, that is, only of some specific species that inhabit this frozen part of the planet. However, there are many more species of south pole animals:
Here you can learn more about the animals that inhabit the poles: What animals live in the North Pole and in the South Pole.
Although it may seem an impossible action to occur in a place like Antarctica because it is somewhat isolated from the rest of the world, several of the species that inhabit this region are in danger of disappearing and the main reason is global warming and, therefore, climate change. Antarctica is one of the places most affected by global warming and climate change since, in addition to the effect given to species by an increase in temperature, it causes a decrease in the frozen surface, that is, the melting of Antarctica, and, consequently, a habitat decline. This event has challenged many of its inhabitants. Some of the species of endangered animals in Antarctica Are detailed below:
And the list goes much further.
If you want to read more articles similar to Antarctic animals, we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category.Bibliography