Antarctica

While the Arctic is covered within the Nearctic and Palaearctic, the fauna of Antarctica is usually omitted from descriptions of faunal regions. As noted above, no terrestrial mammals occur in the Antarctic but several species of cetaceans and seals use Antarctic waters. Crab-eater seals (Lo-bodon carcinophagus) occur around the coasts and pack ice of Antarctica and occasionally haul out on the shore. One has even been found on a glacier at an altitude of 3,600 ft (1,100 m). The Weddell seal (Leptonycotes weddellii), probably the most southern of the world's mammals, prefers land fast ice to pack ice and is usually found in sight of land. Ross seals (Ommatophoca rossi) also inhabit the Antarctic pack ice. Leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) are distributed throughout Antarctic waters where they prey on smaller species. Orcas and a few other cetaceans are regularly seen in these southern waters. More cetaceans and pinnipeds, including Antarctic fur seals and sea lions, occur farther north in subantarctic waters and around islands such as South Georgia, Macquarie Island, and Kerguelen. Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) have been introduced to South Georgia.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment