No matter how much progress humans have made, even today there are many places on earth where it is difficult for humans to live and one such place is Antarctica, the fifth largest continent in the world, 98% of it is covered with ice. Well, it is difficult for humans to live in such a low temperature, but there are some creatures whose world is inhabited only in Antarctica.
From bacteria to large animals, fish and birds also live in Antarctica. and in this article, we will introduce you to 12 of the animals that live in Antarctica.
List Of Animals That Live In Antarctica
1. Colossal Squid
We have seen that the diet of most of the animals that live in Antarctica is squid. But meet one such giant squid, hunting for which is not everyone’s cup of tea. We are talking about the Antarctic squid, also known as the colossal squid. These are the largest invertebrates ever recorded.
The length of colossal squid is 45 feet and they are about 750 kg in weight. The record of having the largest eyes among animals is also in the name of these Squids. Their eyes are 25 cm wide. They live in the sea at a depth of 1000 meters.
Due to the large and heavy body of the Antarctic squid, only the sperm whale can hunt them. colossal squid does not come easily to hand and that is why not much information is available about them.
2. Killer Whale
2nd no of Antarctica animals is giant killer whales that you must have seen many times in movies too. The scientific name of the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. due to which it is also known as Orca. Killer whales are 23 to 32 feet long and weigh up to 6 tons. The killer whale is actually the world’s largest dolphin species, which is considered to be a very intelligent and powerful hunter.
It is said that these killer whales can talk to each other and this is their specialty. Each killer whale has its own unique call that can be recognized by other killer whales even from a distance. The age of this mammal species ranges from 50 to 80 years.
3. Sea Pig
A small creature living on the ocean floor of Antarctica is called a sea pig. this alien-like creature likes to live in the depths of the sea and in the dark. Its scientific name is “Scotoplanes” and it is also called Sea Cucumber. They are 4 to 6 inches long and They are found in the sea at a depth of 4 miles.
Sea pig does not have eyes and their body is almost transparent. Their food consists of dead fish and organic particles. According to scientists, earthworms in the fields clean the soil by eating soil particles. Similarly, these sea pigs clean the dirt inside the sea. Due to this, the level of oxygen helps in increasing. Their special thing is that they do not swim but walk and their feet work to push their food into their mouth.
4. Antarctic Octopus
The Antarctic octopus is one of the many amazing creatures found in the Antarctic. The blue-colored blood of this octopus makes it amazing. According to scientists, in such a low temperature, these octopuses use a special type of protein to take oxygen in their bodies, which gives their blood a blue color.
Most of the creatures living in such extremely cold temperatures cannot tolerate even a little heat. But the specialty of the Antarctic octopus is that they can tolerate temperatures up to 10 degrees Celsius. These octopuses are poisonous and this poison helps in protecting them and hunting fish.
5. King Penguin
The king penguin is the largest penguin species in Antarctica. By the way, like other penguin species, their food is also squid and fish and they also make colonies. But what makes them different from other penguins is that they have bright orange-colored feathers on both sides of their head, near the neck, and on the upper chest.
Apart from this, there is another specialty of penguin kings, they never walk by jumping and their walking speed is also very slow. If we talk about their height is about 37 inches and their weight is up to 13-16 kg. King penguins are found on all the Antarctic Islands, South Georgia, and Prince Edward Island Antarctica.
6. Elephant Seal
The largest species of seal is the Elephant seal. On hearing the name, you must have understood that it is a large Antarctica creature with a heavy body. The weight of a male elephant seal is up to 3000 kg and the weight of a female elephant seal is up to 600-900 kg. Elephant seal cubs weigh up to 40-50 kg at birth. Which looks very chewy and cute. They are named Elephant Seals because of their nose which looks like an elephant’s trunk.
Elephant seals are sluggish on land but are agile swimmers. It is said that they can swim up to 2 km under the sea and can hold their breath for about 2 hours underwater. If we talk about the food of these antarctic animals, these non-vegetarian creatures make squid and fish their prey. It is said that they can survive for three months without eating anything.
7. Blue Whale
The world’s largest mammal also lives in this water of Antarctica is the blue whale. It is said that the tongue of a blue whale is equal to the weight of an elephant and its heart is equal to the weight of a car. The body is heavy but their prey is small prawns living in the sea. Their hunting size may be small but the quantity is very high.
The blue whale eats about 36’000 kg of prawns in a day. Despite being heavyweight, their swimming speed is 30 kilometers per hour. By the way, hunting blue whales in Antarctica is an impossible thing. But sometimes it becomes a victim of killer whales. Blue whales mostly like to swim alone or in pairs. However, sometimes it swims in small groups as well.
8. Antarctic Ice Fish
After ice and sky, now let’s move to the waters of Antarctica where ice fish live. Looking at this fish that looks like its name, it seems as if it has settled Antarctica inside itself because it looks exactly like ice. The presence of hemoglobin in the blood makes the blood red. And this hemoglobin also works to deliver oxygen to our body. But there is no hemoglobin in the blood of ice fish in Antarctica. That’s why his body looks white and transparent.
Despite not having hemoglobin, how Ice fish get enough oxygen is still a mystery to scientists. But they believe that due to being in oxygen-rich water, it absorbs oxygen from its skin or else its large-sized heart delivers oxygen to the body.
9. South Polar Skua
A species of bird found in Antarctica is called south polar skua. Because of their specialty of flying at high speed, they are called “Air Pilot”. It steals food from other birds or animals with such speed that it seems as if the food has disappeared in the blink of an eye. From this, you can understand how agile and aggressive Skua is.
Although the favorite food of south polar skua is fish, skua who specializes in hunting also hunts Penguin eggs and children. It can be up to 21 inches in length and can weigh up to 1.5 kg.
10. Snow Petrel
Apart from penguins and seals, some birds also live in Antarctica. At number 10 is the very beautiful Snow Petrel. They are the size of pigeons, their weight ranges from 200 to 460 grams and they can fly at a speed of 25 (40 km)MPH. By the way, their length is 36 to 41 cm.
The special thing about snow petrels is that their wings are 76 to 79 cm big. Due to such large wings, they can fly for a long time without flapping their wings. Like an airplane. If we talk about their food, then apparently they also depend on small fish or dead seals and penguins.
By the way, the number of these birds is about 4 million. That’s why thankfully they are not counted among the endangered species right now.
11. Leopard Seal
This seal has been named leopard seal because of the leopard-like black spots on the body. By the way, its scientific name is (Hydrurga leptonyx). They are also known as Sea leopards. Their length is 10 to 12 feet and their weight ranges from 300 to 500 kg. The female seal is slightly larger than the male seal in size.
Leopard seals are also carnivores that prey on fish and penguins. They are also called the most aggressive and dangerous predators among the animals of Antarctica. But the interesting thing is that the sides of their mouth are curved upwards, due to which they will always be seen smiling.
Leopard seals mostly prefer to live under cover of ice. They may look big in appearance but are smaller in size than Elephant seals and Walrus.
12. Adelie Penguin
Penguins are the first thing that comes to mind on hearing the name Antarctica. Adelie penguins are medium-sized penguins that are 18 to 30 inches tall and weigh 3.5 to 6 kg. Adelie penguins are also good swimmers who can swim at speeds of up to 72 kilometers per hour and have the ability to dive to depths of up to 175 meters to find their prey.
Its food is small fish, squid, and small sea creatures living on the ice. It is the specialty of penguins to make colonies and there can be up to 0.2 million members in a colony. Adelie penguins make their nests on the rocks lying on the beach.
Adelie penguins are very friendly with humans but are very aggressive towards penguins of other groups of their own species. They don’t even allow them to enter their territory. Adelie penguins are mostly found on Ross Island near Antarctica. Where their number is about 5 million.
So these were the 12 most surprising animals that live in Antarctica. Which animal impressed you the most among these Arctic animals? Do tell us in the comment box.