Saturday, April 7, 2012

Antarctica animals

I've got these beautiful cards thanks to Emerich. The 1st shows 2 gentoo penguins and the 2nd a Weddell seal taking a swim into the cold Antarctica waters.

Claudio Suter Photographer

There are 17 species of penguins some of which are found as far north as the equator. Of the 17 species only six are found in Antarctica (Adélies, Chinstraps, Emperors, Gentoos, Macaronis, and Rockhoppers).
Gentoo, meaning "turban", refers to the whitish markings behind the eyes of this species. Gentoos range in size from 27 inches high (68 centimeters) and 12 pounds (5.5 kilos) in the south to 30 inches high (71 centimeters) and 13.5 pounds (6.2 kilos) in the north.
Most of their colonies run along the Antarctic Peninsula. Unlike the Adélies and Chinstraps, Gentoos stay with their mates throughout the year. A mating pair may reuse a previous site, although they typically change from year to the next. Gentoos commonly locate their nesting sites inland. To ease their burden walking to and from the sea, Gentoos establish a common path for everyone. This continuous use wears down the path and makes it easier to use.
Gentoo chicks stay with the parents for about eight weeks. During their 9th and 10th weeks, chick return home at night to be fed. Should the mating pair lose their first clutch of eggs, a second set is laid if earlier enough in the season. - in:

Claudio Suter Photographer

The Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddelli) is the southernmost pinniped in the world. There are an estimated 800,000 of these animals in the waters off the Antarctic continent. While the overall population is stable, some colonies have seen a decline in numbers over the last decade. Hunting of the Weddell seal is permitted for commercial purposes; however, the 1972 convention for the conservation of Antarctic seals has set catch limits and prohibited the taking of individuals over the age of one year from September 1 to January 31. - in:

Because of its abundance, relative accessibility, and ease of approach by humans, it is the best studied of the Antarctic seals.

Weddell Seal pups leave their mothers at the age of a few months. In those months they get fed by their mothers fat and warming milk. They soon leave when they are ready to hunt and are fat enough to survive in the harsh weather

The Weddell seal was discovered and named in the 1820s during expeditions led by James Weddell, the British sealing captain, to the parts of the Southern Ocean now known as the Weddell Sea. However, it is found in relatively uniform densities around the entire Antarctic continent. - in: wikipedia

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