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NATURE ANTARCTICA

ARGENTINA

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ARGENTINA MAP

INTRODUCTION to ARGENTINA

Argentina Travel
Guide


BUENOS AIRES
IGUAZU
Iguazu Falls
Iguazu River
Circuits
Iguazu National Park
Foz De Iguazu
National Park

CORDOBA
Road of Big Lakes
Road of the History
The Road of The
Punilla

Road of Mar Chiquita
Road To Traslasierra
MENDOZA
Zone of the Centre
Eastern Zone
Southern Zone
Mountain High
Circuit

Ranches
Gran Mendoza
The Wine Trail
SALTA
Northeast Circuit
West Andean
Circuit

Southeast Circuit
Valleys Circuit
SAN LUIS
Circuit of the
Centre

Ranches
Northeastern
Circuit

Western Circuit
Northern Circuit
JUJUY
Puna Circuit
Quebrada Circuit
Valleys Circuit
Yunga Circuit

PATAGONIA
TRAVEL & TOURS


BARILOCHE
Lake Perito Moreno
Villa La Angostura
Esquel
USHUAIA
Tierra del Fuego
National Park

Beagle Channel
PUERTO MADRYN
Rawson
Gaiman

SAN MARTIN DE LOS
ANDES and the CROSS
of the LAKES

Junin de los Andes
Cerro Chapelco
Lanin National Park
CALAFATE
Perito Moreno
Glacier

El Chalten
Los Glaciares
National Park



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NATURE IN ANTARCTICA

Fauna Flora

FAUNA IN ANTARCTICA

Antarctica is considered the largest desert in the world. There is a total lack of fauna adapted to the land. No land vertebrate inhabits it; therefore the continental fauna is hardly conformed by some arthropods (mites and ticks), which can tolerate the low temperatures.

There are no pathogen germs in its atmosphere though there is bacteria, yeast and micro fungus.

On the other hand, there is an explosion of abundant and variegated life in the sea: blue whales, sperm whales, long finned pilot whale, killer whales, sea wolfs, sea elephants and sea leopards, different types of seals, stingrays, codfish, Greater forkbeard, etc.

Such variety of species is due to factors such as the long time period of sunlight, the oxygenation and the richness of its waters. The food chain begins with the krill, a minute crustaceous and a major part of plankton on which Antarctic fauna feeds.
SPANISH VERSION
NATURALEZA EN ARGENTINA
Nature in Argentina
Antarctica
Buenos Aires
Cordoba
Corrientes
Chubut
Formosa
Iguazu
Jujuy
La Rioja
Mendoza
Misiones
Salta
San Luis
Tierra del Fuego
Mammals
The most common mammals on the shore are the Southern Fur seal, sea wolfs, the sea leopards, the sea elephants, and six seal species, included the crab-eater, although the Weddell seal is the one jutting out.

Seals: true seals are of regular size and have their hind limbs inside the body, except for the tarsus. They have no ears, unlike the seal called Southern Fur seal , which in reality is not a true seal and has ears. They dwell in the water and only come ashore to take a nap or to give birth to their baby seals.

Amongst the true seals we have the following:

Weddell Seal: of dark grey fur with yellowish stains, it is more than 3 metres long and can weigh up to 300 - 400 kilos.

Crab-eater Seal: of white yellowish fur, it is about 3 metres long and weighs between 200 - 250 kilos.

Ross Seal: very rare. Its fur is dark grey with clear parts on the chest and the neck. It is no longer than 2 metres.

Sea Leopard: grey dark fur with silver and yellowish stains. It can be more than 4 metres long.

Sea Elephant: the male can reach up to 7 metres long, whilst the female is no longer than 3 metres. Their skin is thick of brown colour.

Cetaceans: they are divided in two groups, toothed whales and baleen whales. The most common baleen species are the blue whale, the fin whale the humpback whale, the minke whale and the pygmy right whale. The largest of them all is the blue whale, and it is the largest mammal in the world as well.

Amongst the toothed whales we find the sperm whale and the killer whale, a feared species for penguins, seals and other whales that it kills to feed on.

The birds
There is a great variety of birds: seven different penguin species, five of albatrosses, fifteen of petrels, three of cormorants, one of ducks, one of pigeons, two of skuas, one of seagulls and two of terns.

The albatross, with several species, frequents Antarctica and stands out for its wingspan (of up to 3,40 metres) and its majestic glide.

The group of petrels is characterised for having one or two nostrils above the beak. Here we find the giant petrel, the cape pretel, the grey petrel, the Antarctic petrel, Wilson's petrel and the snow petrel.

Other fauna members are the blue-eyed cormorant, the seagull, the skua or brown gull, the tern, which migrates from pole to pole, and the Antarctic pigeon. All birds in Antarctica are web-footed, except the Antarctic pigeon, and migrate to the north in early autumn.

However, the ones calling the most attention amongst the Antarctic birds are the groups of penguins for their stiff walk and their total adaptation to the aquatic environment. Eminently gregarious birds, they live in communities that can surpass the 150000 individuals. Out of the 17 species populating the hemisphere, only four lay eggs on Antarctica, and of these only two are distributed across the entire continent.

Adelia Penguin: black head and beak, with a white strip bordering the eye.

Antarctic Penguin or chinstrap called in this manner because of the black row of feathers that connects both sides of the skull under the gullet.

Papua Penguin: of orange reddish beak and legs, with two white spots on the head resembling a hood.

Emperor Penguin: it is between 100 and 110 centimetres tall with a long and arched beak, and with a mantle of orange colour on its neck that degrades downwards. It can weigh up to 25-30 kilos. Their dwellings are within the Antarctic Polar Circle and they are usually on firm sea ice. They do not build a nest and brood their eggs during the polar night.

Other common species outside the Antarctic sector are the king penguin, of a size similar to that of the emperor, the macaroni penguin, and the crested penguin, which are occasional dwellers on the Antarctic peninsula and the neighbouring islands during the migration periods.

The fish
Amongst the fishes we can name different sharks, mantle rays, codfishes, Greater forkbeard, etc.

FLORA IN ANTARCTICA

The flora on the continent is very poor and it is limited to 350 species, mostly represented by likens, mosses and seaweeds. When the ice melts during the summer, it exposes rocks in some places on which mosses and likens thrive. Likens growing on isolated mountains have been found at 475 kilometres from the South Pole.

There are only three species with flowers on the peninsula, two native species such as the tussok grass of one and a half metres, and some shrubs of Primrose-willow. There is also one transplanted by man that grew well in the zone: the blue grass. The few plants surviving on this continent are restricted to small iceless areas. There are no trees in Antarctica.

 


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