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Does Anything Live In Antarctica?

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Kath Senior answered
Amazingly, yes, there is life in Antarctica, despite the average temperatures of minus 60 degrees Celsius. There are two species of flowering plant that grow there – the Antarctic pearlwort and the Antarctic hairgrass. There are also 60 species of moss, 100 species of lichen and 400 species of algae.

There are no native land mammals and no resident land mammals but whales, seals, penguins, other sea birds and some fish visit there during the year. Fifty species of sea bird spend some time in Antarctica but only 13 species actually breed there – the most famous one being the King penguin.

There are a few fish species and some squid in the waters of Antarctica but these tend to be very specialised to survive the extreme cold. The fish tend to live in the very deep water and look after their young very carefully. They also have much lower levels of haemoglobin in their blood – one species doesn't have any at all – and they produce antifreeze in all their tissues to stop themselves freezing.

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