What Animals Live in the Southern Ocean?

Some animals that live in the Southern Ocean include Hoff crabs, sea cucumbers, icefish and starfish. Other animals that live in the Southern Ocean include Antarctic toothfish, Patagonian toothfish, elephant seals, krill and giant squid.

Hoff crabs inhabit the floor of the Southern Ocean. The crabs use their arms to gather bacteria and minerals that are released from the volcanic vents that are found in deep water. The crabs have a hairy chest, and their name comes from their resemblance to the hairy-chested actor David Hasselhoff. Although the bodies of most crabs are designed for warm waters, Hoff crabs survive the cold temperatures by using the volcanic vents as a source of warmth.

Sea cucumbers, also called sea pigs, live in the waters off the coast of Antarctica. They are known for their pink coloring, round, inflated appearance, small tail and pig-like ears. The sea cucumbers that live in the Southern Ocean survive by feeding on nutrients and microscopic organisms they find as they filter the sand and sediment on the ocean floor. Icefish, also known as white-blooded fish, have completely transparent skin. The fish naturally produce antifreeze to prevent themselves from freezing in their cold environment.

A wide variety of starfish live in the Southern Ocean. One type is the feather star. Feather stars have long feather-like tendrils that they use to capture passing plankton. Another type of starfish found in the Southern Ocean is the basket star. Basket stars have an array of wandering appendages that extend in all directions to capture prey and anchor them in place.