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Antarctica

What animals live in Antarctica?

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January 30, 2018 12:10PM

There are no land animals that are mammals, nor any reptiles or amphibians native to Antarctica. The continent is too cold to support animal life.

However, whales, seals, birds, fish, squid, penguins and shrimp live in the waters around Antarctica. The seals and some birds remain on the continent during breeding season.

Land animals that do live south of 60 degrees South Latitude, the extent of coverage by The Antarctic Treaty, are small such as spiders, mites, beetles, flies, mollusks and earthworms, but most of these are restricted to Sub-Antarctic islands north of the continent.

Four of the 17 species of penguins breed along the coast of Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula. None are able to venture far inland on the Antarctic, as there is nothing on the Antarctic continent to support life. Another three species of penguins live and nest on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands. Other birds include four types of albatross that breed on the Antarctic peninsula (the northernmost part of the continent) and various Petrels, Shags and Skuas.

There are many types of fish and other sea-life in Antarctic waters. Other animals are very dependent on them for food as the only plants in Antarctica are very tiny and slow growing and only grow on the tip of the peninsula. None of these is sufficient to form any kind of life-supporting food chain.
No animals live on the Antarctic continent.