Ask A Scientist: Wildlife

From Tucker High School in Atlanta, Georgia:

What kind of animals live in Antarctica? Do they live there year round?

The only animals that live at McMurdo station year round (except for humans) are the Weddell Seals. They survive the winter by chewing holes in the ice allowing them to have access to air even during the harshest antarctic storms. During the summer months, Adelie Penguins show up as well as Skua. Skua are essentially the southern ocean equivalent of seagulls except they migrate huge distances and are much nicer to look at. They fulfill the important scavenger role in the ecosystem. Later in the year we get more larger marine wildlife, including Minke and Orca whales. Emperor penguins stay to the north of McMurdo proper but occasionally show up as do a few other species of seal, including Crab eater seals. There is way more life than I can describe under the ice and we will show images of that as we continue in our research.

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