Antarctica is a continent that covers the South Pole of the Earth which is almost entirely located in the Antarctic Circle and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean.
About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice with an average thickness of at least 1.9 km. It means that Antarctica is cold, isn’t it? In Antarctica, there are a variety of animals that live there that are indeed strong with cold temperatures.
What about the animals that live in the sea? Apparently, many Antarctica marine animals and even many species that are not yet known. Most marine animals that live there have a unique and unusual shape. Are you curious? Let’s dive deeper!
1. Sea Pig
Sea pig (Scotoplanes globosa) has a length of 10-15cm that looks like pigs on a farm. This animal is pretty much found off the coast of Antarctica and tends to live in groups.
But actually, this animal lives in the deepest part of the ocean whose minimum depth is 1000 meters. Sea pig food is crumbs from decaying animals or plants buried in the mud.
When they eat, the sea pig uses a mouth that is surrounded by a ring of tentacles. In addition to reaching for food, the mouth also functions to filter mud and absorb food nutrients. Of course, this animal cannot be consumed like a pig in general because it is full of poison.
Sandhopper (Talitrus saltator) is an amphipod that is a crustacean animal, just like shrimp, crab, and lobster. They live in cold Antarctic waters but can also walk on land.
Like many other animals that live in polar regions, they are huge. Sandhopper has gotten that name because they will jump away if they feel disturbed. This animal jumps by first tucking its tail and then turning it over.
3. Scale Worm
Antarctic scale worms (Eulagisca gigantea) are animals that have a frightening appearance. These animals are found on the seafloor of the Antarctic Ocean.
They have a length of about 20 cm and a width of 10 cm. These flat, short worms are in the family Polynoidae. They have scales that cover their bodies called elytra.
If you search for their images on the internet, then you will see a shape that looks like a head. But actually, what looks like a head is a mouth that can be pulled out which can be pulled out and folded into their body.
When they want to chew, this animal will only unroll its long trunk and tear its prey to shreds. There is also a worm that lives in the deep sea called Giant Tube Worm. You can check out these 5 layers of ocean zone and creatures live in each layer.
4. Sea Spider
Sea spiders are not real spiders in general. These animals live in Antarctica waters and have an average size of 35 cm. There are more than 1300 species known, ranging in size from 1 millimeter to more than 90 centimeters in some deep water species.
Sea spiders are mostly carnivores. They like to eat cnidaria, sponges, polychaetes, and bryozoans. It has a ‘trunk’ or part of the body that is used to suck nutrients from soft-bodied invertebrates.
They put their ‘trunk’ into the sea anemone and suck the food. Thus, these sea spiders live like parasites that take and absorb nutrients from their prey.
5. Hoff Crab
Hoff Crab (Kiwa tyleri) is a furry creature that lives on the seabed. This animal can be found around the south polar waters with a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius.
Due to freezing temperatures, this creature mostly stays on the seabed because there is a volcanic rock system that heats the area. Hoff Crab has a hairy appearance because the animal was covered in bacteria.
Crab Hoff uses his comb-like mouth to scrape bacteria and eat it to eat. It’s a bad idea to consider catching some hoff crabs and breed them. Maybe you can start to breed mangrove crabs. Read this introduction to breeding mangrove crabs here.
6. Comb Jellyfish
The comb jellyfish is a soft and transparent animal that uses a kind of cilia to swim in the waters off Antarctica. The shape of this jellyfish varies. There are bell-shaped and ball-shaped.
Every time the light hits their body, the jellyfish will emit a different color, which gives them a unique appearance. These jellyfish are also bioluminescent, which means they can produce their blue-green light.
Comb jellyfish live mostly at sea level with higher acid levels and warm temperatures. Like jellyfish in general, these animals are also predators. These animals will use their sticky secretions to catch small animals, unlike a general jellyfish that will sting anyone who approaches them.
It is still unknown about this jellyfish’s lifespan. As we know, there is a jellyfish named Turritopsis jellyfish, one of the longest living animals in the entire world.
Indeed, the information that can be obtained about Antarctica marine animals is very little. Hopefully, the information that is written here can be useful!