Antarctica is considered the coldest, driest and windiest desert. The temperature in Antarctica has gone -129⁰f and hence human residence is not possible in these hostile conditions. Only researchers used to stay in Antarctica at specialist research stations. So it is a neglected part of the earth. Only birds and animals adoptable to very cold climate conditions can survive in Antarctica. Animals in the Antarctica live in the surrounding oceans. The fish and other organisms found on the sea are the main source of food for the animals in Antarctica. Seals, whales, Orcas and sea lion are a few found animals in the Antarctica.
Seals are the common inhabitant of the Antarctic region. The thick layer of skin helps them to live in extreme condition. The different types of seals are Weddell seals, southern fur seal, southern elephant seal, crab eater seal, leopard seal. They have a thick layer of fat on their body which makes them bear cold. Seals have a pair of flippers which helps them to swim in water and helps them to find their food. Southern elephant seal weighs up to 4 tons and 15ft long. Leopard seal is dark gray and light gray in colour and muscular. Male seals are smaller than female. They usually feed on squid and krill. Seals are very playful in the water.
Whales are the largest animal on the earth. There are different types of whales like the humpback whale, minke whale, blue whale and sperm whale. Whales weigh up to 180 tonnes and their length is around 98 ft. Antarctic whales feed on Antarctic krill, sea planktons, squid and other small fishes. Killer whales sometimes also eat other whales. Female whales give birth to 1 calf and they feed the young ones with milk after the birth. They are seen in the seas near Antarctic region.
Other Antarctica Living Organisms
There are other vertebrates which are restricted in the Antarctic. Antarctica spider called Antarctic spring tail is one of them and they feed on molluscs and other smaller insects. Antarctica spider is small and white in colour. Micro invertebrate is also a part of the continent like nematodes, tardigrades and rotifers. Micro-invertebrates cannot be seen by us so their presence on that continent is not often detected by us. They act as food for smaller insects like beetles and flies.
Humans have made the effort to introduce new animals in the Antarctic region either with or without knowing. Animals like rats and rabbits have endangered the lives of other animals like Antarctica spiders and micro-invertebrates. The natural inhabitants face this as their greatest threat.
Threats to Animals In Antarctica
The delicate eco balance of the Antarctic supports the living of its species. Global warming and dumping of waste on Antarctic has affected the animals in Antarctica in many ways. They lack food because of it and many have reached the point of extinction. Seals and whales have also been hunted by humans and this has lead to their decline. Blue whale oil is considered a medicine and whales have been hunted for this in large numbers. Although the government has taken steps to stop this we should all take the oath to preserve all nature and its inhabitants especially in the delicate and precious environment of Antarctica.