Wolves are beautiful and majestic animals that occupy many different regions of North America. But do any members of the wolf family live in Antarctica, aka the coldest place on the planet?
Are there wolves in Antarctica?
There are no wolves living in Antarctica. In fact, there are no wolves found in any portion of the Southern Hemisphere. Instead, wolves are generally found throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. The furthest south they normally will be found is in the northern parts of Mexico or India.
But that does not mean that wolves do not like the cold weather. Even though wolves cannot be found in Antarctica, they can be found in portions of the Arctic Circle, on the completely opposite side of the planet. These wolves are known as Arctic wolves, but they can also be called polar wolves or white wolves. These wolves are only found in the Arctic regions of North America and Greenland.
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These wolves are actually a kind of grey wolf, but they have adapted in many ways to survive in such a cold environment. Compared to grey wolves, Arctic wolves have smaller ears. This comes in handy because it means that there is less body area for them to lose heat from on cold days. They also have thicker fur that offers these animals more insulation. Their hair is also lighter, which allows them to camouflage easier in the barren and snowy landscape.
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Are there foxes in Antarctica?
A similar relative to the Arctic wolf is the Arctic fox. Like Arctic wolves, Arctic foxes are members of the canine family. They have also adapted well to life in one of the coolest parts of the world. They have thick fur (their coat is so thick that they can withstand temperatures up to -158 degrees Fahrenheit) and their legs, muzzles, and ears are all small which gives them a smaller surface area so they do not lose too much body heat. These foxes are the smallest canine found in the Arctic- they are about the size of a large house cat.
So do these small, white foxes live in Antarctica? Nope, they do not! Interestingly enough, foxes are found on every continent in the world except for Antarctica.
What animals live in Antarctica?
Since there are no wolves or foxes in Antarctica, you may be wondering what animals do live in Antarctica. While Antarctica is a very cold and barren place, there are many animals that call it home. One of the most famous animals that live in Antarctica is the penguins! Emperor penguins, king penguins, Adelie penguins, chinstrap penguins, and Gentoo penguins all live in Antarctica.
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There are also a handful of seals that live in Antarctica. The Weddell seal, the southern fur seal, the southern elephant seal, the crabeater seal, and the leopard seal all live on the chilly Antarctic coast. There are also lots of birds – such as the wandering albatross, the snow petrel, the Antarctic skua, the blue-eyed shag, the giant petrel, the Cape pigeon, the snowy sheathbill, and the Arctic tern- that live in Antarctica.
Why are there so many more animals in the Arctic than in Antarctica?
Animals in the South Pole are pretty much broken up into two groups – birds and seals. There is much more variety of wildlife in the North Pole because on top of Arctic wolves and Arctic foxes, there are also polar bears, caribou, Arctic hares, and squirrels, as well as tons of birds and even insects (such as grasshoppers, mosquitos, and moths).
So why is there more life in the Arctic than in the Antarctic region of the world? The Arctic Circle is connected to parts of North America (such as Canada and Greenland), which allows animals to be able to easily migrate south during the cold winters. Antarctica, on the other hand, is a continent all on its own and it is not close to any other masses of land.
There is also minimal plant life in the Antarctic tundra, which means that herbivores would not be able to survive there. The Arctic tundra has plants, as well as mountains, plains, and rivers. The Arctic also has freshwater, which is something that is very much lacking in Antarctica.