Saturday, November 20, 2010

Animals of Antarctica

Here are five animals that can be found on the continent of Antarctica. There are no land animals on the continent. There are birds, fish, sea mammals and a few kinds of insects. Antarctica consists of the ocean and places frozen over by ice. The temperatures are extremely cold and over centuries, animals have adapted to living in the freezing cold.
Play memory by matching the pictures,
Match the pictures to sounds,
Find arctic related books,
Arctic animals dramatic play,
Arctic theme crafts,
Arctic sensory tub,
Learn vocabulary,
Arctic printable and coloring pages,
Search online or in planning books for more activities.

Click here to download the folder.
It includes the pictures, sounds, map of Antarctica and fact file in Microsoft Word.

Arctic Skua :

Size: Body, 16 to 18 in (41 to 46 cm); Wingspan, 43 to 49 in (110 to 125 cm)
Weight: 12 to 20 oz (330 to 570 g)
The word “skua” comes from the Old Norse term for seagull.
Skuas are sometimes called avian pirates.
Skuas steal much of their food from terns, puffins, and other birds that are carrying fish and other foods back to their nests and young.
They live most of their lives at sea, but come to shore to breed in the summer.Skuas can be light or dark colored.
Click here to hear the Skua's call.
Diet: Eggs, small birds, small mammals and fish.

Blue Whale :

Blue whales are the biggest whale and the biggest animal that has ever lived on Earth.
They are the loudest animal on Earth - even louder than a jet plane.
In good conditions, blue whales can hear each other up to 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away.
Click here to hear one.
They can be found in Antarctica as well as through out the rest of the world.
Can swim at more than five miles an hour (eight kilometers an hour) but accelerate to more than 20 miles an hour (32 kilometers an hour) when they are agitated.
Average life span in the wild: 80 to 90 years
Size: 82 to 105 ft (25 to 32 m)
Weight: Up to 200 tons (181,437 kg)
Group name: Pod
Protection status: Endangered
When a blue whale exhales, the spray from its blowhole can reach nearly 30 ft (9m)
When a blue whale calf, (baby) is born, it already weighs up to 3 tons (2.7 metric tons) and stretches to 25 feet (8 meters). It gorges on nothing but mother's milk and gains about 200 pounds (91 kilograms) every day for its first year.
Diet: Tiny crustaceans and tiny fish.
They can eat some 4 to 8 tons (3.6 to 7.3 metric tons) of krill per day.
Krill are very similar to shrimp.

Elephant Seal:

Average life span in the wild:
9 years (northern); 20 to 22 years (southern)
Up to 20 ft (6 m)
Up to 8,800 lbs (4,000 kg)
Group name:
Hear a seal colony.
Southern elephant seals can dive over 4,921 feet (1,500 meters) deep and remain submerged
For up to two hours.
There are two species of elephant seals, the northern and southern. Northern elephant seals can be found in California and Baja California, though they prefer to frequent offshore islands rather than the North American mainland.
Southern elephant seals live in sub-Antarctic and Antarctic waters.
Southern elephants are the largest of all seals.
They are called elephant seals because of their trunk-like inflatable snouts.
Female seals have one pup per year.
Elephant seals were once hunted for their oil and became endangered until laws were made to protect them. Since then, their population has increased.
Hear a young elephant seal play with his echoing call.
Diet: Fish, squid and other marine foods.

Emperor Penguin:

They are the largest of all penguin species.
Size: 45 in (115 cm)
Weight: Up to 88 lbs (40 kg)
Group name: Colony
Hear a colony of emperor penguins!
Penguins are birds that cannot fly.
They are excellent swimmers and spend most of their lives in the sea.
Emperor penguins can dive to 1,850 feet (565 meters)—deeper than any other bird—and stay under for more than 20 minutes.
Average life span in the wild: 15 to 20 years
They live in colonies on ice packs in Antarctica.
They are kept warm by a layer of blubber (fat) and insulating down feathers which are water proof to keep their skin dry. The female lays a single egg and then leaves it behind with the father for around two months.
Male emperors keep the newly laid eggs warm, but they do not sit on them, as many other birds do. Males stand and protect their eggs from the elements by balancing them on their feet and covering them with feathered skin known as a brood pouch.
Hear a penguin chick!
Diet: They eat fish and squid.

Leopard seal:

Average life span in the wild: 12 to 15 years.
Size: 10 to 11.5 ft (3 to 3.5 m).
Weight: Up to 840 lbs (380 kg).
The leopard seal is named for its black-spotted coat. The pattern is similar to that
Of the famous big cat, though the seal's coat is gray rather than golden in color.
Like the big cat, leopard seals are also fierce predators.
leopard seals are insulated from frigid waters by a thick layer of fat known as blubber.
Leopard seals are earless and have long bodies.
Hear a leopard seal!
Diet: Smaller seals, fish, penguins and squid.

Blubber: Fat.
Brood Pouch: A pouch where penguins keep their eggs.
Colony: A group (usually referring to animals).
Crustacean: Shellfish that have segmented bodies such as lobsters, crabs and shrimps.

Pod: Group of whales.

My next post will be on Antarctica itself and the habitat of these animals. I’ll have more ideas for planning and play from the list above which I will explain in more detail. My third post will contain a list of books, crafts and printable.

Facts found from: National Geographic.
All pictures found from: Google Images.


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I am teaching my four year old about the continents and he loves hearing the animals talking! He was cracking-up when listening to the elephant seals. :)

  2. Thank you for posting this! I am teaching my 4 year old son about the continents and he loved listening to the animal sounds. He was 'crackiing-up' when we listened to the elephant seals!


Thank you for your comments! I read them all and I appreciate each one. I often reply to comments so feel free to check back for a response.

Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates