ONE WEEK OUT from the Great Adventure! Antarctica, here I come (via Ushuaia, Argentina)! Definitely kicking it into power mode. I’ve been ticking stuff off my to-do list, connecting with loved ones, and continuing to throw miscellaneous items onto the pile o’ stuff to pack. And I’ve been cooking. It’s kinda my zen, plus it’s the final weeks of my CSA and I continue to be inspired. My refrigerator is getting pretty full.
In all my prep, I want to make sure that I put up a few blog posts to really get this baby started. I was brainstorming some ideas with Tertius, and he suggested writing about the animals I could encounter. Brilliant! I’m really hoping to see a lot of wildlife, and get some incredible photos. I’ll be sure to share them when I do 😘
Before starting the research for this post, I had no idea there were 9 types of penguins found in the far south. Yeah! Stoked for it all - the seals, birds, whales and other marine wildlife. Not sure how many I’ll actually get to see, but check out these beauties:
(all pics snagged from the interweb via Google)
The Flightless Birds (🐧🐧🐧)
The chinstrap penguin is aptly named for its distinct facial marking. They are apparently one of the more aggressive penguins, kinda bullies. The most famous chinstrap penguins are Roy and Silo, who lived in the Central Park Zoo. They were a male couple who tried to hatch a rock. One of the zookeepers swapped it out for a fertilized egg and they raised the chick as if it were their own. Love is love 🐧❤️
The emperor penguin is probably the most famous, starring in such hits as March of the Penguins and Happy Feet. They are the tallest (up to 4’) and heaviest (50-100 lbs) and are serially monogamous.
The adelie penguins are skilled and powerful swimmers. They are daredevils and will leap off high areas into the sea, throwing all caution to the wind.
The gentoo penguin is long-tailed, has a white stripe over its eyes, and a bright orange bill.
The king penguin is similar in appearance to the emperor but has an orange cheek patch and is sleeker with a straighter bill.
Ah, the macaroni penguin. This mad cute crested species is the most numerous and has a distinct yellow crest.
The southern rockhopper and northern rockhopper penguins look like they should be having some sort of West Side Story-like dance/fight-off. But instead they are pretty chill and both in great danger of extinction.
The royal penguin is similar to the macaroni penguin, crested yet white-faced. Those guys have been known to interbreed on occasion.
Breaking the Seal
The leopard seal is a vicious predator, gobbling up penguins with no remorse. They are extremely vocal underwater and primarily solitary. They are bold, powerful and deadly.
Other seals found at the bottom of the world:
A Whale of a Tale 🐳
The orca AKA killer whale is not actually a whale at all but the largest of the dolphins. They nosh on penguins and seals. I have been fortunate enough to see them wild in Alaska several times, and am really hopeful I will get to see them down south.
And let’s not forget the actual whales down there:
Sperm // Blue // Fin // Minke // Sei // Humpback // Southern Right
The Birds! (that can fly)
Wandering Albatross // Cape Petrels // Giant Petrels // Snow Petrels // Blue Eyed/Imperial Shags // Sheathbills // Antarctic Skuas
I cannot wait to get down there and see as many of these amazing animals as possible! Any predictions on what I’ll encounter?
THE ANTARCTICA FUND IS STILL KICKIN’ IT LIVE (throughout this entire adventure)
NO DONATION TOO SMALL - ALL DONATIONS WILL RECEIVE A PRINT FROM ANTARCTICA
(Please SHARE with philanthropists and wealthy loved ones)