Antarctica is a continent that is considered not only as the coldest but also the driest and windiest locations on earth. There have been record low temperatures to -129F and winds raging at speeds of 200mph. It is unique in its own ways of comprising of features of both a desert and of snow. Despite of the extreme conditions of Antarctica it is a home to a diversified species of wildlife.
The most attractive thing about Antarctica its wildlife is a host to tourists in the austral months of summer mostly. During this period a large number of seabirds such as seals, whales, penguins make Antarctica their destination of migration. There is a lot of fish, crustaceans available for them to feed themselves. Each summer brings in a new treat of wildlife worth watching. Antarctica offers a lot of cruises that are available to let you have an amazing view of the wildlife.
There are two kinds of whale- toothed and baleen that you could commonly spot. There are only two of the wide variety of toothed whales that you would see in Antarctica, the Orca and Sperm. While, a number of baleen whales can be seen such as Blue, Fin, Sei, and Southern right that can be a sight to watch. These whales do travel all from north to enrich themselves in the rich Antarctic waters during the summer period. And today Antarctica proudly can be known as the whale sanctuary.
Much of Antarctica has been explored for the new seal communities. The seals have also been a prey during the 19th and 20th century for their valuable skins and oils. During this period when the race was being hunted for the skin was almost on a verge of extinction. Fortunately organizations and agencies have worked to protect the seals and helped to revive their population. Unlike, arctic it does not have polar bears thus a larger number of seals are found here. The seals breed in the land although spend most of their life span in water. The most common location to spot them are the ice-packed surrounding of Antarctica.
The offshore islands and the coast of Antarctica is a breeding area for a number of seabirds. They usually have waterproof plumage to fight the environment. Their body is small and compact with a lot of fat under the skin. There are very few snow-free regions for the birds to nest so they are always seen in large numbers in few nesting areas. The birds provide an impressive sight for the bird enthusiasts. However, they too migrate to warmer areas once the summer ends.
Antarctica’s special feature and most familiar wildlife is the penguin. They spend more than half their life swimming as that is what their body is designed for. They can swim upto 25mph because of a strong paddle structured muscle. The penguin looks very graceful when in water while it hops awkwardly once ashore.