The Antarctic Ice Fish. He’s awfully cute, isn’t he?
Okay, so everyone loves penguins. I certainly do. I can stare at the penguins at the Boston aquarium for hours, at times. Penguins are sort of the animal mascots for Antarctica. What about other Antarctic animals, though? In addition to the penguins, there are plenty of other impressive marine animals in Antarctica.
I am not a biologist nor do I pretend to be, but being a student at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute I have a fair number of marine biology friends. Recently, a friend of mine was telling me about how global warming is helping marine biologists study sea creatures in Antarctica. One of the reasons that Antarctic sea creatures interest me is because they demonstrate polar gigantism. Some species of marine animals are similar to those found in warmer parts of the ocean, but they can be much, much larger than the ordinary species. Other animals, such as the Antarctic ice fish pictured above, have special adaptations that allow them to do well in cold water. The Antarctic ice fish has no red blood pigments and no red blood cells, an adaptation that apparently helps this fish survive in cold waters (or so says the picture caption on CNN.com).
If you want to know more, ask a marine biologist. I plan to do just that… maybe as soon as at dinner tonight. Even with my limited information, though, I recognize that there are many wonder-inspiring animals in Antarctica, penguins included!