What Animals Live at the South Pole?


Quick Answer

Due to its inhospitable nature, very few living things call Antarctica home, much less the inland region of the South Pole. The only life forms native to that region are nematodes that live under the ice and other micro-organisms. Even the emperor penguins that migrate inland to breed rarely make it that far south, although occasionally skuas, snow petrels and albatrosses may venture near the pole for brief periods.

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Full Answer

Penguins are the most common animals found in Antarctica, with several species living on and around the icy continent. Similarly, several species of seals and sea lions call the icy waters home, and may occasionally venture on to the ice pack to hunt or escape predators. By far, most of the life in the Antarctic is found in the oceans, with whales, orcas and many different species of fish thriving in the frigid sea.

Many of the fish that live in the Antarctic region exhibit unique adaptations that allow them to survive the extremely low temperatures. The notothenioids are a class of fish whose blood contains specialized glycoproteins that bond to ice crystals, preventing their blood from freezing. This allows them to thrive in waters as cold as 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

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