Antarctica is the region around the South Pole. Unlike the Arctic , there is a large amount of land in Antarctica, which is covered by thick ice. These cold condition make life very harsh for the animals living there. Antarctica it is the coldest place in the world,but so little rain and snow fall that the region is called a desert.
Did you know?
Vostok Station in Antarctica is the coldest place on the Earth. A temperature of -93.2 degrees Celsius was recorded there.
Food for all
Many animals visit Antarctica in the summer. Tiny plants and animals in the sea,called plankton,increase in number as the weather gets warmer. The plankton attract fish , which provide food for seals and penguins.
Leopard seals are fierce hunters. As well as eating fish and squid, they also eat penguins and other seals.
Very few people live in Antarctica , but more and more people are visiting the region as tourists. These tourists need to be very careful that they do not damage the area by dropping litter or disturbing the animals.
Penguins are swimming birds that live in the Earth’s southern hemisphere(the southern half of our planet). They have webbed feet and flipper-like wings, which they use to swim.
Unlike other birds, penguins have feathers all the way down their legs. They also have a thick layer of fat under their skin. These help to keep them warm in the cold Antarctic.
Many penguins lay their eggs and raise their young in Antarctica. They warm their eggs in folds of skin by their feet.
Chinstrap penguins are named after the thin band of black feathers that runs under their chins.
Emperor penguins take good care of their young .
- Emperor penguins are the largest penguins. They can weight nearly 45 kilograms-that is the weight of 45 large bags of flour!
- The largest penguin colonies contain more than 10 million birds.
When it is time to breed, penguins gather together in large groups called colonies. They huddle together to keep each other warm.
Penguins are clumsy on land but are graceful and fast in water. The surface of their bodies is smooth so that they slip through the water easily. They find it difficult to walk on land and often slide along the snow on their bellies.