Antarctic animals - The most abundant and best known animals from the southern continent. Penguins, whales seals, albatrosses, other seabirds and a whole range of invertebrates you may have not heard of such as krill which form the basis of the Antarctic food web. These are the charismatic mega fauna that you have seen pictures and film of, though you may be surprised to find that they live far more interesting and complex lives than you imagine.

Most of the animals of the south polar region are seasonal visitors, conditions are just too hard for most animals to live there in the winter.

Antarctic Animals - A List of Animals Found in Antarctica

Antarctica has an abundance of animal life, almost all of it being dependent on the sea. The largest truly land animal is a wingless midge about 13mm / 0.5 of an inch long. As the animal life is dependent on the sea and are mainly warm blooded, they tend to be pretty large as a survival technique against the extreme and relentless cold. That Antarctica can support such an abundance of large animals is a result of the productivity of the southern polar sea. Follow the link for the animal to find facts and more pictures.


Emperor penguins

Aptenodytes forsteri

King Penguins

Aptenodytes patagonica

Adelie penguin

Pygoscelis adeliae

Chinstrap penguin

Pygoscelis antarctica

Gentoo penguin

Pygoscelis papua


Whales and Seals

Whale species

Species and lifestyle

Weddell seals
Leptonychotes weddelli

Southern Fur seal
Arctocephalus gazella

Southern Elephant seal

Mirounga leonina

Crabeater seal

Lobodon carcinophagus

Leopard Seal

Hydruga leptonyx

Other Animals


Euphausia superba

Wandering albatross

Diomedea exulans

Snow petrel

Pagrodama nivea

Antarctic skua

Catharacta maccormicki

blue eyed shag
Blue eyed shag

Phalacrocopax atriceps

giant petrel
Giant petrel

Macronectes giganteus

cape petrel
Cape pigeon

Daption capensis

   snowy sheathbill
Snowy Sheathbill

Chionis albus

arctic tern
Arctic tern

Sterna vittata

Antarctic Land Invertebrates