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lone soul in Antarctica
all photos on this page courtesy of Guillaume Dargaud

    Antarctica is an unusual place located at the bottom of the world. This fifth largest continent is about the size of the United States and Mexico combined.

penguins on cliff in Antarctica
 Antarctica is the coldest place and has the worst winter weather on Earth. Temperatures usually go to 60 degrees (F) below zero, but sometimes it gets up to just above freezing. Antarctica is the windiest, driest, and highest of all continents. In spite of its layer of ice, Antarctica is considered a desert, because it has so little rain (or snow) fall. It is not tall mountains that make Antarctica the highest continent, but the permanent layer of thick ice that covers it. Ice and snow cover almost all of Antarctica, with only some bare rocky areas showing. See how the sea ice surrounding Antarctica changes during the year. If this ice cap did not cover the area, Antarctica would be the smallest continent. There is almost no plant life on Antarctica. It is the only continent without any trees. Only a few small plants and some insects can live here year round. No large animals live on Antarctica through the entire year.

    The stormiest ocean in the world surrounds Antarctica. Krill, fish, and squid live in this ocean. Some of the fish have antifreeze in their blood so they can survive the freezing waters near the ice packs. Seabirds live here, too. Some of the birds are skuas, gulls, and petrels. Large colonies of penguins make this area their home. These interesting birds hunt the waters for food and breed on Antarctica and the islands around it. Howling blizzards, freezing temperatures, and months of darkness make life hard for these birds.

If you are interested in the discovery of Antarctica, this site has information about red dot height=16 width=16><a href=Antarctic explorers. You can print the information, including a picture to color.

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Types of Penguins
Penguin Facts by First Graders
Food of Penguins
Dangers to Penguins
Penguin Poems and Stories
Glossary of Terms
Penguin WebQuest
Links to Fun Activities
Useful and Interesting Links

Page created by A. Meyerhorn January 2001 and updated March 2003       Copyright 2001

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