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Amazing Antarctica or e t

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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© Skip Novak, Pelagic Expeditions.


Library Activity Package: Amazing Antarctica Upper Primary Resource Book

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© 2004 Ready-Ed Publications, Revised © 2009 Printed in Australia ISBN: 9781863975841

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Author: Jane Bourke Design & Typesetting: Shay Howard

Cover images sourced for Amazing Antarctica resource book and activity book: i. Emperor penguin image courtesy of Patrick Boss ©. ii. Antarctica scenery image courtesy of Skip Novak, Pelagic Expeditions ©. iii. The Dome image courtesy of Defenselink.com (Public Domain).

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Acknowledgements: Clip art has been obtained from Microsoft Design Gallery Live and is used under the terms of the End User License Agreement for Microsoft Word 2000. Please refer to www.microsoft.com/permission. Additional images courtesy of IMSI’s Masterclips/MasterPhotos collection, 1895 Francisco Blvd, East San Rafael, CA 94901-5506 USA, website: www.imsisoft.com and Corel Corporation, 1600 Carling Ave, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Z 8R7. Photos from individuals and other sources are credited where applicable.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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Published by: Ready-Ed Publications PO Box 276 Greenwood WA 6023 www.readyed.com.au info@readyed.com.au

Reproduction and Communication for educational purposes

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The Australian Copyright Act 1968 (the Act) allows a maximum of one chapter or 10% of the pages of this work, whichever is the greater, to be reproduced and/or communicated by any educational institution for its educational purposes provided that the educational institution (or the body that administers it) has given a remuneration notice to Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) under the Act.

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For details of the CAL licence for educational institutions contact: Copyright Agency Limited Level 15, 233 Castlereagh Street Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone: (02) 9394 7600 Facsimile: (02) 9394 7601 E-mail: info@copyright.com.au

Reproduction and Communication for other purposes

Except as permitted under the Act (for example a fair dealing for the purposes of study, research, criticism or review) no part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, communicated or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission. All inquiries should be made to the publisher at the address above. 2


Contents The Cold Hard Facts of Antarctica.................................................. 4 Map of Antarctica .......................................................................... 5

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Antarctic Discovery ........................................................................ 6 Exploration of Antarctica .............................................................. 7 An Antarctic Hero .......................................................................... 8

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The Race to the South Pole ............................................................ 9

The Antarctic Treaty ..................................................................... 10 Research Stations 1 ...................................................................... 11

Research Stations 2 ...................................................................... 12

Australia’s Antarctic Stations ...................................................... 13 Scott Base..................................................................................... 14

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Living and Working in Antarctica 2.............................................. 16 •Human f or r evi ew pur posesonl y• Adaptation ...................................................................... 17 Living and Working in Antarctica 1.............................................. 15

Natural Resources ........................................................................ 18

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Tourism in Antarctica ................................................................... 19

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Tragedy at Mount Erebus .............................................................. 20 Animals of Antarctica .................................................................. 21

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Whales and Seals  ................................................................... 22-24

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Playful Penguins ...................................................................... 25-27 Antarctic Land Resources ............................................................ 28

Useful Antarctic Websites ............................................................ 29 References for Teachers ............................................................... 30 Index ............................................................................................ 31

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

The Cold Hard Facts of Antarctica

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u The lowest EVER S recorded temperature

♦Temperatures in Antarctica rarely rise above 0 degrees Celsius.

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♦ A thick layer of ice and snow buries most of the Antarctic continent. This is known as the icecap. This layer averages a thickness of about 2,200 metres. That's over two kilometres! ♦ The ice is four kilometres thick at the South Pole.

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♦ Ice and snow covers 98% of the Antarctic continent.

in the world was in the Antarctic continent at Vostok station on July 21, 1983.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur p se son l y• Ito was -89.2 degrees ♦ The icecap covers 13.72 million square ♦ The icecap makes up approximately 70% of the Earth's fresh water. kilometres and contains 90% of the world’s ice.

Celsius on that day.

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♦ If this icecap melted, the ocean levels would rise and all coastal cities around the world would be flooded. ♦ Some types of algae are able to grow on snow, making the snow appear pink or green.

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♦ Antarctica covers 14 million square kilometres of the Earth's surface. ♦ The average elevation of Antarctica is 2,300 metres above sea level. ♦ Winter in Antarctica involves six weeks of complete darkness.

♦ Summer in Antarctica consists of 24 hours of continuous daylight. ♦ Over 7,000 tourists have visited Antarctica since 1990. 4

© Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Map of Antarctica Antarctica Region Anta

Scotia Sea

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Neumayer Station (Germany)

Joinville Island

Antarctic Peninsula

South Pole

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Southern Ocean

Enderby Land Mawson Station (Australia)

Davis Station (Australia)

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• East Antarctica

West Antarctica

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Ross Ice Shelf McMurdo Station   (U.S.)

Scott Base (N.Z.)

Vostok Station (Russia) Casey Station (Australia)

King George Island

Cape Adare

Ross Sea

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Amundsen Sea

Shackleton Ice Shelf

Adelie Land

Dumont d’Urville

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Station (France)

Southern Ocean

Macquarie Island (Australia)

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Library Library Activity Activity Package: Antarctica Antarctica

Antarctic Discovery rest of the world. However in his notes he made plenty of reference to the whales and seals that he saw on his journey, sparking interest from commercial whalers and sealers from Europe and America who were keen to venture to the region.

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Several hundred years later around 100 A.D., Ptolemy, a Greek geographer, named Antarctica; Terra Australis Incognita, meaning “unknown southern land”. Although it was believed that this region was a fertile area, northern explorers feared that there was a hot region surrounding the equator that blocked the way south, so no plans were made to venture to the Antarctic area.

The First to site Antarctica Opinions differ as to who first laid eyes on the land of Antarctica. Common stories centre on the year 1820 when three men made separate voyages to the region.  January 26 - Captain Fabian von Bellinghausen of the Russian Imperial Navy, reported that he reached a point 32 kilometres from the Antarctic Peninsula. He was the first man to cross the Antarctic Circle since Captain Cook.  January 30 - Captain Edward Bransfield and officer William Smith of the British Navy, voyaged south of the South Shetland Islands and sighted the Antarctic Peninsula.  November - American Sealer, Nathaniel Brown Palmer, reported that he saw land on a sealing mission in the area.

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What’s in a Name? Around 350 B.C., Ancient Greek philosophers talked about an Antarctic land long before it was officially discovered. They assumed that there was a southern landmass that balanced the northern landmass at the North Pole. The northern landmass was called the Arctic, after the Greek work for bear, Arktos. From the Arctic, the bear constellation was visible in the night sky, just as the Southern Cross is visible in the southern skies. So Antarctic means “opposite the bear”. The people who gave Antarctica its name never set foot on Antarctica and didn’t even have any proof that it even existed!

© ReadyEdP ubl i cat i ons The First to set Foot on Antarctica Again, no one is really sure. Some people •f orr evi ew pu r po e son l yCaptain • believe thats an American sealer,

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Cook was not overly impressed with the Antarctic conditions and decided that any land in that region was “of no benefit” to the

Also in 1821, it is thought that an officer and ten men under the leadership of Lord Melville were forced to spend the entire winter on King George Island after their ship was carried away in a storm. The men were rescued the following s u m m e r. Te n years later, an English whaler, John Biscoe, became the first man to spot land in East Antarctica, naming it Enderby Land after the whaling company for which he worked.

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 © Patrick Boss, Australian Antarctic Division.

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Discovery In 1772, Captain James Cook set off from England in search of a southern continent. Under the instructions of the British Navy, he hoped to travel as far south as possible. In January 1774, Cook reached huge ice blocks that stopped him from travelling any further south. At this time, he was yet to sight any land, however, shortly after, he went on to discover Australia and New Zealand.

John Davis walked on Antarctica’s shores at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula in 1821. Apparently, Davis wasn’t sure if he had reached an island or the actual continent.


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Exploration of Antarctica

The discovery of Antarctica led to much interest by scientists and governments around the world. Many countries wanted to claim a piece of Antarctica. Date

Country

1837

France

The King of France sent Lieutenant Jules Dumont D’Urville to claim southern lands for France. This led to the discovery of Joinville Island off the Antarctic Peninsula.

1840

France

D’Urville named icy cliffs on the East Antarctic coastline after his wife, Adelie. He even named a species of penguins after her.

United States

Great Britain

James Clark Ross became the first person to explore beyond the pack ice surrounding Antarctica. He discovered the gulf that is now the Ross Sea and also discovered an island containing two volcanoes. He named these volcanoes Erebus and Terror after his ships. The Ross Ice Shelf, which Ross actually called the Victoria Barrier, was also named after this explorer.

1895

The first recorded landing on the Antarctic mainland occurred when businessman, Henryk Johan Bull went ashore at Cape Adare, which faces New Zealand.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Norway

19071909

Great Britain

Ernest Shackleton, who had been part of Scott’s original team, was determined to find the South Magnetic Pole. He succeeded in his quest in January 1909. Until then, many had thought the pole was beneath a frozen sea. Shackleton’s team were able to confirm it was on land, however, they failed to reach it.

1911

Great Britain/ Norway

The race to the South Pole was on between Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott. Amundsen reached it first by less than a month.

1928

Australia

Sir Hubert Wilkins made the first aeroplane voyage over the Antarctic Peninsula.

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Robert Falcon Scott of the British Navy reached the Ross Sea with an expedition of scientists and explorers. Scott ventured inland across the Ross Ice Shelf. This was the first of many inland explorations.

19011904

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Lieutenant Charles Wilkes headed a large expedition to perform scientific research. He covered over 2,400 kilometres from Adelie Coast to Enderby Land, proving that Antarctica was a vast continent and not merely an island.

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1840

Details

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United States

Richard Byrd of the United States Navy flew the first plane over the South Pole on a journey that lasted less than 16 hours.

Great Britain

Sir Vivian Fuchs, a British geologist, led the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. This expedition, which started on November 24 and was organised by the Commonwealth of Nations, covered a distance of 3,473 kilometres.

New Zealand

On January 18, Sir Vivian Fuchs reached the South Pole and was greeted by New Zealander , Sir Edmund Hillary. Hillary, famous for being one of the first two men to climb Mount Everest in 1953, had journeyed south from Ross Island to meet Fuch’s group. The two expedition groups then travelled north and arrived safely at Scott Base on March 2.

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

An Antarctic Hero Sir Douglas Mawson (1882 - 1958)

Sir Douglas Mawson is remembered for being Australia’s most famous Antarctic explorer. The first permanent Antarctic station was named in his honour. Thanks to Mawson’s efforts, Australia owns and protects 42% of Antarctica.

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Expeditions Mawson was a part of the Sir Ernest Shackleton’s British Expedition that took place from 1907-1909 and was later involved in the ascent of Mount Erebus and the location of the South Magnetic Pole. Between 1911 and 1914 Mawson was involved in many Australian Antarctic expeditions.

Their fateful trip however, soon turned into a tragic nightmare when after travelling more than 1,000 kilometres, Ninnis fell into a crevasse that had been covered with

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Early Life Mawson studied and lectured in geological sciences at universities in Sydney and Adelaide. He became fascinated with learning more about Antarctica and spent a considerable amount of time and effort exploring Antarctica in the early parts of the 20th century. Mawson believed that it was important that people find out about Antarctica, even though he experienced difficulties funding his expeditions.

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On one particular trip, Mawson set off with two companions, Swiss scientist Dr Xavier Mertz, and British soldier Lieutenant Belgrave Ninnis. Their aim was to map the Antarctic coastline, explore glaciers and collect rock samples. They took with them supplies on sleds which were pulled by a team of huskies.

In the footsteps of Sir Douglas Mawson

Relive some of the heroic adventures of this dedicated explorer: www.mawson.sa.gov.au/ie.htm

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Mawson and Mertz the sad • journey •f orr evi ew pu r po se sstarted on l y back to their base, resorting to eating the

huskies in order to survive. The meat from the dogs made them weak as it contained toxic levels of vitamin A. Shortly after, Mertz became very sick and died, leaving Mawson completely alone and increasingly weak.

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a thick layer of snow. Mawson and Mertz called out to Ninnis but he had perished, taking the sled of food supplies with him.

In a courageous effort, Mawson ditched most of his supplies and soldiered on, falling through a couple of crevasses on the way, and managing to pull himself out safely each time. He finally reached camp after 30 days and was greatly relieved to see a young engineer. Mawson, however, was almost unrecognisable.

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Sir Douglas Mawson went on to lead two more Antarctic expeditions, discovering new marine species during his travels. He also recorded weather patterns, studied the geology of Antarctica and eventually mapped the coastline.

Sir Douglas Mawson, Antarctica, 1911. (Image courtesy of the National Library of Australia.)

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In 1914, Mawson was knighted in recognition of his heroic leadership skills under harsh conditions. His face appears on the Australian $100 note.


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

The Race to the South Pole The adventurous quest to be the first to the South Pole is often described as the most significant event in the history of Antarctica. It involved two great explorers of the time, Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the British Navy, and Roald Engelbrecht Gravning Amundsen, an explorer from Norway. The two men never met.

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Markers

The marker in the foreground of this picture marks the South pole. The South Pole marker is replaced annually, as the marker moves about nine metres each year from the exact geographic location of the pole.

Roald Amundsen (1872 - 1928)

• Born in Borge, near Oslo in Norway. • Amundsen had originally planned on discovering the North Pole but was beaten by Commander Robert E. Peary, an American explorer. • Amundsen sent a telegram to Scott stating that he was venturing to Antarctica in search of the South Pole. • Amundsen and four crew members reached the pole on December 14, 1911. He went on to make a number of significant discoveries in Antarctica. In 1926, Amundsen made history again by flying over the North Pole in an airship called the Norge. • Two years later, Amundsen and his crew disappeared in the Arctic while on a search mission for a friend. The missing friend, Italian pilot Umberto Nobile, was later rescued. Nobile had flown with Amundsen across the North Pole.

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Ready, Steady, Go....

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f or r e vi ew ur posesonl y• This movement occurs because the icep

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• Born in Devonport, England.

• On December 30, 1902, Scott reached a latitude of approximately 82 degrees 17 minutes, about 840 kilometres from the true South Pole. The latitude reached by Scott was the farthest south that anyone had then gone.

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The South Pole. © Department of Defense, USA.

Take a virtual tour of the South Pole: http://astro.uchicago.edu/cara/vtour/pole

Captain Robert F. Scott (1868-1912)

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sheet moves, taking the marker with it. There is a line of markers that demonstrates how the ice has moved slowly over time.

• Scott arrived at the South Pole on January 17, 1912, only to find that Amundsen had beaten him to it. • Weak from the journey, all five of Scott’s team died on the return trip. Two members died after being injured. Scott and two assistants persisted in the extreme conditions and were forced to camp during a blizzard. It was here that they died. Their bodies were discovered inside their tents eight months later. They were only 11 kilometres from food and supplies. • Poor organisation, including insufficient fuel and a lack of huskies to pull sleds, were blamed for Scott’s demise.

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

The Antarctic Treaty The main aims of the Antarctic Treaty are to ensure that Antarctica is used for peaceful purposes only and does not become the scene or object of international conflict. In addition, the treaty aims to promote international cooperation in scientific research. This means any militar y bases, militar y manoeuvres, weapons testing, nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive waste are prohibited under this treaty.

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One of the earliest treaties established, was the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. This treaty was brought about by the United Nations and 12 countries initally joined. Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, Fr a n c e , J a p a n , N e w Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America led the pack, while other countries joined in later years.

© Melanie Conner, Human Peace Sign from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica 2003.

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World treaties regarding the global environment are not a new idea. For over fifty years, countries around the world have been working together to help protect all aspects of the Earth’s environment, such as: animals, plants, the oceans, the lands, the atmosphere and even the moon.

On December 1, 1959, the Antarctic Treaty was ratified in Washington, USA. It was written in English, French, Russian and Spanish and was placed in the United States’ government archives.

At the South Pole in summer the sun never sets! The sun’s rays are so intense that you cannot go outside without wearing special UV protective sunglasses. You may sunburn your eyes or risk snow-blindness without adequate protection.

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Antarctica, unlike any other region in the world, has been divided up a bit like a cake!

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© ReadyEdP ubl i cat i ons Antarctica Alert! •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Imagine that the South Pole is at the centre of the cake and the slices all start at that point. Look at the map to get an idea of the size of the claims. Only seven of the Antarctic consultative countries (the countries that have signed the Antarctic Treaty) have made a claim on Antarctica’s land. The remaining countries do not recognise these claims. The United States and Russia have both reserved the right to make a claim.


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Research Stations 1

The International Geophysical Year

Antarctic r o e t s Bo r Research Today e p ok u S

First in on the act....

• Argentina • Belgium • France • Japan • Norway • South Africa

• • • • • •

Australia Chile Great Britain New Zealand Russia United States

Countries usually work together on different scientific programs, as this allows more ideas and opinions to be exchanged. Some countries focus on particular aspects of Antarctica, while others concentrate on a number of research areas. Antarctica is a large continent with an extremely harsh climate, so it is much more worthwhile for countries to join together when embarking on projects, as it enables them to bring their valuable knowledge and resources to the programs.

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Many scientists around the world are fascinated with increasing their knowledge of the last discovered continent. The International Geophysical Year (IGY) began on July 1, 1957 and officially ended on December 31, 1958. So technically speaking, it ran for a year and a half! During this time a program was set up to allow scientists and researchers from all around the world the chance to share their findings about Antarctica. During this time, more than 50 scientific research stations were set up. Many of these stations were located on nearby islands and still function today.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Scientific Research Stations • f o r r e v i e w pur posesonl y• From scientific research stations, geologists and astronomers

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Meteorologists study the climatic patterns, temperature, air pressure, winds and weather patterns. Biologists and marine biologists study animal and plant life.

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Australia and New Zealand have been heavily involved in Antarctic research since 1957. It is not unusual for scientists at their bases to be working alongside scientists from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia or Germany.

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study the thickness of the ice, earthquake activity, gravity, magnetism, oceans and solar activity.

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One of the most important subjects of research is the ozone layer hole. Many scientists from several fields are investigating the causes and impact of this atmospheric hole.

Mawson - old research station, © Patrick Boss.

By learning more about the Antarctic atmosphere, scientists can devise ways to help minimise further destruction of the ozone layer.  11


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Research Stations 2

There are over 40 permanent scientific bases and over 100 research stations on Antarctica. The majority are found on the Antarctic Peninsula. The first base ever built on Antarctica was an Australian base opened in 1911. Many bases were established to house the research projects for the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58. In 1957, the Special Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) was founded to coordinate all aspects of research in Antarctica. This organisation is an international body that assists countries working together with their research programs.

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You can find out more about SCAR at the official website: www.scar.org/

Some of the major research stations in Antarctica:

Macquarie Island Subantarctic

1911

King Edward South Georgia Island

1950

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Year Completed

Country

Research Details

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Scientific programs focus on biological and medical research as well as meteorology and space physics. Douglas Mawson established this research station. Research occurs in biology, meteorology, United geophysics and glaciology (1950-1982). Today, the Kingdom main activity is fishing, with an emphasis on marine investigations, including analysis of specimens. Research includes: Medical Science, Meteorology, Geophysics, clean air monitoring, monitoring and research of Adelie penguins, Weddell seal Australia research, Emperor penguin population assessment, human impact studies, cosmic ray research and atmospheric and space physics. Studies include biological research, physics, underwater studies and ice core studies. The United States station contains a harbour, helicopter pad and airport. Named after Captain Robert Falcon Scott, it was set up as a support to field research and research New Zealand into earth sciences. Today it conducts research in many fields. Scientific programs focus on atmospheric and Australia space physics, biology, medical research and meteorology. The primary research activity has been ice core drilling. Vostok has achieved an ice core drill depth Russia of 3,650 metres, but they have since stopped drilling, as they are less than 100 metres from the top of Lake Vostok. Scientific programs focus on biological and physical Australia sciences, space physics and medical studies. Australia

1954-56

McMurdo Station Ross Island

1956

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Scott Base Ross Island

Davis Vestfold Hills Vostok Near Lake Vostok

Casey Bud Coast, Wilkes Land Neumayer Ekström Shelf Ice, Atka Bay

1957

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1957

1988

1992

Source: www.70south.com

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Mawson Holme Bay

Germany

The scientific programs at Neumayer focus mainly on geophysical and meteorological studies, air chemistry and ozone measurements.


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Australia’s Antarctic Stations

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© Patrick Boss, Australian Antarctic Division.

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The Australian Antarctic Division maintains four permanent research stations: Mawson, Davis and Casey on the Antarctic mainland, and Macquarie Island in the subantarctic.

The Australian Antarctic Division runs programs in the following fields:

 Antarctic Marine Living Resources - Studies focus on seabirds, marine mammal ecology, fisheries, pack ice seal populations, squid and krill as a food source, Emperor and Adelie penguin populations and ecosystem monitoring.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• 

Davis

South Pole

Casey 

Macquarie Island 

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 Astronomy - Working with the United States, the Australian stations use Antarctic telescopes to study how planets, stars and even galaxies are born. There is also the eternal quest to find the existence of other planets similar to our own.  Biology - Programs explore the effects of the Antarctic climate on biodiversity, the survival of the elephant seal and the impact of global climate change on ecosystems.

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Mawson 

 Geosciences - Studies examine the impact of geophysical and geological processes on the Antarctic environment.

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 Glaciology - Studies focus on Antarctica’s ice sheet and the surrounding sea ice. Scientists are exploring the influence that these features have on the Earth’s climate.  Human biology and medicine - Research focuses on the biological changes that humans undergo when living in freezing conditions.

HAVE A LOOK: Check out these exciting webcams www.aad.gov.au/ asset/webcams/mawson/ default.asp

 Human impacts - Studies are concerned with how we can preserve the Antarctic environment for future generations.  Meteorology - Studies focus on the weather and climatic conditions of Antarctica.  Oceanography - Programs focus on the influence of the Southern Ocean on global climate, ocean circulation and life systems.  Space and atmospheric sciences - Studies focus on the Antarctic atmosphere. Aspects such as the ozone layer hole, cosmic rays and the global atmospheric climate are examined. (Source: The Australian Antarctic Division.)

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Scott Base The Ross Dependency was claimed by Britain in 1923, however, it was placed in the care of New Zealand. This area of land stretches 160 degrees east to 150 degrees west of the Greenwich meridian and is home to the massive Ross Ice Shelf. The region, which is over 3,000 kilometres south of New Zealand, also contains the Transantarctic Mountains, Ross Island and the Ross Sea.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Life at Scott Base

The New Zealand station played a key part in the scientific research that occurred in the International Geophysical Year (1957-8).

During the summer, Scott Base is home to approximately thirty staff, most of whom are involved in the New Zealand Antarctic Programme. Only about ten workers stay to brave the dark and bleak winter.

The Buildings

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The dependency takes its name from Sir James Clark Ross, a British explorer who led an expedition to the Ross Sea in 1843. Scott Base is named after Robert F. Scott, one of the Antarctic’s most famous explorers. Scott Base (NZ) and McMurdo Station (USA) are both located on the Ross Dependency.

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Say What? In Antarctica, a boomerang is the term used to describe a flight to Antarctica that turns back before it gets there, usually due to poor weather conditions at the landing site!

Scott Base is not unlike a giant freezer except it is designed to keep the heat in and the cold out. It is made of steel and is encased by special polyurethane foam, which acts as an insulator. Each of the eight buildings is off the ground, which allows the snow to blow underneath.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Scientific Research

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Scientists at Scott Base are usually working on international projects or concentrating on projects specific to New Zealand. Scientists and researchers collaborate with scientists from international stations and share their findings with researchers from all over the globe.

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There are five areas that are explored in the New Zealand Science Strategy for Antarctica. They include:

 Antarctica as a global barometer  The Southern Ocean  Life in Extreme Environments

 Human Influences In/On Antarctica  The Connections between Antarctica and New Zealand

(Source: The New Zealand Antarctic Institute.)

Original Antarctic research station. These have since been replaced. © Patrick Boss.

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Living and Working in Antarctica 1 Due to the ease of getting to and from Australia and New Zealand, scientists generally spend a minimum of time in Antarctica. Only a fraction of the staff stay for the winter as it is uncomfortably cold with no sunlight at all - that’s right, the sky is pitch black even at lunchtime!

We all know about Aussie slang and Kiwi slang, but did you know that there is even such a thing as Antarctic slang? Put any group of people in isolation long enough, and they are bound to come up with their own special words that describe a thing, place or feeling particular to the region that they are living in. Check out these words and phrases. Guess what they might mean. - A–factor - city mice - greenout - Chinese landing - helo - pit and pitroom - scradge - tin dog - winter over - boomerang

While an Antarctic trip sounds glamourous, most workers are happy to participate in only a short stint on Antarctica, returning to their country of origin to report their findings.

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Over 4,000 people from all over the world work in Antarctica over summer, while fewer than 1,000 remain for the harsh winter.

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Antarctic Slang

I was on a boomerang the other day! When we finally arrived it was a Chinese landing. Am off to hang with the city mice for a winter over. The scradge is still terrible but at least my pit is warm. Can’t wait for the helo to pick me up!

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

© Department of Defense, USA.

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Equipment and cargo generally makes its way to Antarctica by ship during the summer months, when the sea ice has broken up. Other supplies are flown in on various navy planes such as Hercules, Galaxy and Starlifter planes, which fly © Patrick Boss, Australian Antarctic Division. into McMurdo Sound and land on a sea ice runway. The Polar Bird is the Australian supply ship and is used by the Australian Antarctic Division for the transport of supplies. This massive liner is strengthened against the ice and is chartered by many other countries to act as an Antarctic supply ship.

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Occasionally this cargo ship becomes trapped in the ice pack and requires rescuing. Another large cargo ship, Aurora Australis, has helped the Polar Bird out of the ice on one or two occasions.

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Living and Working in Antarctica 2 Getting Around

After people arrive in Antarctica on the sea ice runway, they generally travel to their station in a fourwheel drive truck. Scientists travel by helicopter and fixed-wing planes when they need to reach remote locations such as the South Pole.

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A skidoo, © LABB, (www.tamug.edu/labb)

Hagglunds: These vehicles were designed in Sweden and have tracks (similar to a bulldozer), which help them move through the snow.

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Two other types of vehicles commonly used in Antarctica are:

Skidoos: Like hagglunds, these smaller vehicles are tracked, however, they can seat only two people. They can be used on snow or ice and are often used to tow sledges.

At night, vehicles need to be plugged into electric heaters to stop their engines from freezing!

Re adyEdPubl i cat i ons Sleeping © in the Daylight

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Some people find it difficult to sleep when it is light, but their bodies soon warm to the idea. Most huts have curtains and shutters that can keep out the light. For those who stay for the winter, the opposite occurs and some workers take a lot of time to adapt to the fact that they are working during the day and not in the middle of the night.

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Imagine that it is 10 o’clock at night. You are getting ready for bed after a hard day’s work in the very cold snow. You go to your quarters to sleep, except it is bright and sunny outside with absolutely no sign of getting dark. When you wake up in the morning, it looks just like it did at midnight. Very confusing indeed and another condition that Antarctic workers need to cope with.

o Frozen c food

. che e r o t r s super Working Away From the Base People leave their station during the day to work at various locations around Ross Island, and return later on to record their findings. Sometimes workers may stay away from their stations overnight, setting up camp at suitable sites.

In some places, field huts are available which provide shelter from the cold and snow. Many of the huts contain primitive gas stoves, which are used for cooking and general warmth. Where there are no huts, the field expedition must sleep in tents. The tents are specifically designed for freezing temperatures, and come with thick foam mattresses. What more could anyone want? 16

Working in Antarctica certainly is different to working in more civilised parts of the world. Because there are no market gardens or farms anywhere to be seen, all fresh produce has to come from Australia and New Zealand. On long field trips, scientists usually rely on dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. There are always plenty of snacks that are able to be stored easily, such as chocolate bars, crackers and packet soups.


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Human Adaptation

Hypothermia

Antarctic workers have to overcome a number of harsh realities when they first arrive on the continent. Much of the biological research carried out aims to find out about how the human body is able to withstand the cold temperatures. Antarctica is a continent of extremes. Despite being the coldest continent on earth, it is also the driest and experiences days of 24 hours of sunlight in summer and 24 hours of darkness in winter.

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Hypothermia occurs when body temperature drops to below normal. The normal temperature is 37 degrees Celsius. If the body temperature drops to around 34 degrees Celsius, there is a serious chance that death may result as the body is unable to survive at this temperature. Unlike arctic mammals, humans do not have dense fur coats or layers of insulation to keep them warm in freezing conditions. Humans must wear plenty of protective clothing to stop their bodies from losing heat. Over 50% of heat is lost from the head and neck area.

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Living in Isolation The people who are stationed in Antarctica for work, are carefully selected by organisations such as the Australian Antarctic Division and the New Zealand Antarctic Programme. Antarctica is a long way from home and departments try to ensure that the workers who are assigned there will be able to cope with the harsh physical and mental conditions.

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• Numbness and waxy feeling in fingers and toes; • Pale skin; • Uncontrolled intense shivering; • Weakness and muscle tenseness; • Judgement capability impaired.

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People who are happy to work in isolation or with a minimum of communication, are the sorts of people who are best suited to the Antarctic working environment. Workers must also be able to carry out their research with a minimum of supervision. Modern technology means that workers are not as isolated as they have been in the past. Satellite communication systems have improved and Internet access is in the pipeline. A fibre-optic cable will link the continent with the rest of the world in the near future.

The Effects of Hypothermia

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Such extremes have resulted in humans having to adopt a number of coping strategies. The harsh conditions can cause serious social, psychological and physiological stresses on the body. In addition, working in isolation can also greatly affect the mental health of human beings.

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Natural Resources

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Ice

Antarctica’s most abundant resource appears to be ice. So how can this resource be used? Well, ice can be melted down to pure fresh water and you may have even heard the suggestion that icebergs could be towed from Antarctica to areas in the world that are desperately in need of fresh water. Sounds like a good idea, however, this would cost a fortune and no one is willing to take on such a monumental project. Other people say the ice could be used as a giant deep freeze to store food, but again, due to the amount of shipping required, this process would become very expensive.

Once again the cost of mining and refining coal in Antarctica is so expensive and coal can be bought much more cheaply from other sources around the world. Coal can, however, be used in small Antarctic research stations as a heat source, so research and planning is continuing on this activity.

Petroleum

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© Skip Novak, Pelagic Expeditions.

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Coal is a black or brown rock made from plants compressed under layers of earth for millions of years. Unlike most rocks, coal can be burned, which makes it very useful for producing heat and electricity. Like some regions in Australia and New Zealand, Antarctica has evidence of rich coal deposits along the coast and also through the Transantarctic Mountains. Geologists believe that Antarctica was covered with ancient swamps between 35 and 55 million years ago and that coal formed as swamp plant and animal life died and decomposed.

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The Issues...

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Coal

Like coal, petroleum deposits are formed from decomposed plant and animal matter. Due to the huge costs involves, no petroleum exploration has occurred in Antarctica and geologists are really only guessing that there is a possibility that this resource exists, based on what has been found in other southern continents.

Mineral Resources

Scientists have discovered that the rock layers that are found in Antarctica contain an assortment of minerals such as copper, iron, nickel and cobalt. The search for such minerals would be a very difficult and costly task, which would require extensive sur veying and drilling and no-one seems to be prepared to take on such a task, given that there is no proof of large deposits of these minerals.

o c . che e r o t r s super  Drilling for oil would be difficult

because the water is deeper over the continental shelves;

 There is sea ice and icebergs

everywhere which would get in the way and cause problems for equipment;

 The work season is short due to the

harsh environment and work climate. During winter, there is hardly any daylight in Antarctica.


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Tourism in Antarctica

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The best way to view Antarctica is by ship, so there is relatively little impact on the continent’s delicate ecosystem. Most tourists travel to Antarctica on cruise ships leaving from Chile or Argentina.

© Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.

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While tourists do make their way to Antarctica, there is no real system of government in place to keep law and order. At present the people who live on Antarctica are mainly scientists, researchers and government personnel.

Antarctica’s breathtaking scenery and fascinating wildlife make it an intriguing tourist attraction, however, few people have managed to experience the wonders of Antarctica as a holiday destination. Tour groups are operated by commercial companies who run cruises along the coast. These are in addition to government-organised cruises, which also provide excursions to local research stations. Tourists have also been flying over the region in the last few decades, particularly over the Antarctic Peninsula. However, since there is no international air traffic control, it is a rather risky expedition. Many pilots have been caught in blizzards and whiteouts, which occur when the pilots are unable to clearly distinguish between the snow-capped mountains and the snowy white sky. On the odd occasion where there has been a crash, it is has been extremely difficult for any search and rescue mission to take place due to the hostile weather and conditions.

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© Department of Defense, USA..

Plant life and penguin nesting are affected by human contact.

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Many mountaineers and all-round adventurers have travelled to Antarctica to test themselves against the harsh environment. This has been discouraged due to the lack of emergency rescue systems available as many of these tourists have arrived with little knowledge of the region and inadequate equipment. A growing number of people believe that tourism in Antarctica is an industry worthy of further development, however, it is also known that tourism would have a severe impact on the environment and wildlife.

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Tragedy at Mount Erebus communication, people were still hopeful that the plane was merely lost. However, it soon became clear that the plane would have run out of fuel after a certain amount of time. Search and rescue flight crew were hoping that perhaps a forced landing had taken place, but their worst fears were realised when news broke about the wreckage. A third plane to the wreckage site dropped off three mountaineers from Scott Base. These were the men who sent back the radio messages confirming there were no survivors.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S © Department of Defense, USA.

After several investigations, if was found that the Mount Erebus air disaster occurred as a result of the wrong latitude and longitude coordinates being entered into the plane’s computerised navigational system. In Antarctica, it can be extremely difficult to distinguish between the sky and the mountains.

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On the 28 November 1979, a scenic return flight to Antarctica ended in tragedy when an Auckland-based DC-10 aircraft crashed into Mount Erebus in Antarctica, killing 237 passengers and 20 crew members. A United States Navy plane later discovered the wreckage of Air New Zealand Flight 901.

After many years of investigation, it was finally determined that a combination of pilot error and faulty programming of navigational instruments led to the accident. Information gathered from the flight recorder tapes proved that there was no emergency inside the cockpit prior to the accident. It proved that the pilots were unaware of the mountain until only a few seconds before the plane crashed into the side. The plane exploded on impact, instantly killing all on board.

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flight should have been fairly straightforward. The flight plan gave the exact coordinates of the latitude and longitude. Once programmed into the plane’s navigational system, it would allow the plane to virtually fly itself. However, an error was made when these coordinates were entered, with two coordinates being changed at the last minute.

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A Memorial

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What seemed like a tiny change was to throw the plane completely off target and send it crashing into the side of Mount Erebus, an active volcano over 3,790 metres high. Flying through thick cloud-cover, the plane hit the mountain at more than 500 kilometres per hour. In what was described as a whiteout, the snow-capped volcano with the snow and glaciers behind it, made the mountain very difficult to see. Commercial scenic tourist flights had only been operating since 1977 and the ill-fated Air New Zealand flight over Antarctica’s Ross Sea region, turned into a flight of doom when it disappeared from radar screens. In the hours following the loss of radio 20

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons The pilots, although never having flown to f o rexperienced, r evi e w ur posesonl y• Antarctica• before, were and the p

Shortly after the tragedy, a six foot timber cross was erected close to the crash site as a memorial to those who lost their lives on Mount Erebus. After damage by wind, this cross was replaced on 30 January 1987 with a cross of stainless steel, which overlooks the crash site from a rocky ledge three kilometres away.


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Animals of Antarctica Land Animals

Protecting Antarctica’s Flora and Fauna

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Many countries have their own conservation laws that strive to protect Antarctica’s wildlife. You can find out exactly what these involve by checking out these websites:

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What sorts of animals live on the mainland of Antarctica? Well, you may be interested to know that the largest land animal (that is, it spends its entire life on the mainland) is the tiny wingless midge. This animal is really no bigger than a fly! Most of Antarctica’s animal life lives near the water on the edge of the continent. There are no other land mammals or reptiles that can endure Antarctica’s chilly environment. The animals that are found on the continent, such as birds and marine mammals, do not spend their entire life on the land and are not considered land animals .

Australian Antarctic Division www-new.aad.gov.au/

Marine Animals

The Antarctic Ocean is flourishing with animal life. The marine animals possess special adaptations that enable them to withstand the harsh temperatures. At the end of the 19th century and in the early 1900s, whaling was responsible for the slaughter of thousands of whales and seals, greatly reducing the populations and forcing some of the animals to become endangered species. Today, international wildlife laws and the Antarctic Treaty protect the natural wildlife of Antarctica.

(Click on Antarctic Law and Treaty)

Antarctic Heritage Trust www.heritage-antarctica.org

Ministry for the Environment © ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons (NZ) •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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The most abundant animal in the surrounding oceans is krill, small prawn-like crustaceans. These unique creatures are thought to use a range of mechanisms to survive. To endure the winter, when low light conditions limit the process of photosynthesis and the production of phytoplankton, it is thought that krill either shrink and use up their own bodies’ reserves or become cannibalistic! Krill play a vital role in the food chain. Most marine life in this region depend on krill as a staple food. Krill is also fished by several countries that market it as a protein-rich food. Another major food source for the larger marine life is squid.

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Krill, © Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.

www.mfe.govt.nz/laws/meas/ antarctica.html

Fish species in Antarctic waters display a number of special adaptations for cold temperatures. They build up reserves of chemicals such as sodium, potassium and chloride which decrease the temperature at which their bodies freeze. Some species have substances known as glycoproteins which stop ice crystals forming. They also have a reduced amount of haemaglobin in their blood compared to the fish in warmer waters. This makes their blood thinner, thus enabling the fish to save energy.

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Whales and Seals Whales

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Minke Whale, © Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.

Whales were the reason that so many ships travelled to very southern parts of the world in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many whalers were among the first to sight many of the islands off the Antarctic mainland. The blue whale is the largest mammal in the world and is thought to be the largest animal to have ever existed. It can grow to a length of over 30 metres long and like most marine life in the region, it exists on a diet of krill.

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During summer, whales migrate to the cold waters of the Antarctic region, as the waters provide an excellent supply of plankton. They stock up on food and build up their blubber at this time. Once the summer is over, whales return back to the warmer waters to breed, as during winter the Antarctic waters freeze over.

Whales on Holiday Many whale species migrate to Antarctica for the summer. These species include: •y Fin whales • Humpback whales © Read EdPubl i ca t i on s • Right whales • Sei whales • Southern bottlenose whales •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

• Blue whales • Minke whales • Killer whales

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Fur Seals, © 2002 Sally Gillies, www.cybamuse.com/antarctica.

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Seals are abundant in the oceans surrounding Antarctica. They spend most of their lives in the water and nest on the coastal regions, feasting on krill, fish or squid. Larger seal species, such as the leopard seal, are known to hunt other types of seal as well as penguins. In August 2003, a British researcher was killed by a fierce leopard seal, which was the first animal related death recorded on Antarctica.

Fur Seals

Some seals, such as Antarctic fur seals are found mainly on the islands and the outer regions of the Antarctic Peninsula. Anywhere below this peninsula is too cold for the seals to exist. Like their name suggests, these seals are known for their thick brown fur. They rarely grow much taller than a metre and like to move around on their flippers with their noses in the air. Fur seals are also territorial and are prone to starting fights with other seals that try to muscle in on their territory.


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Crabeater Seals

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Crabeater seal, © 2002 Sally Gillies, www.cybamuse.com/antarctica.

Crabeater seals often beach themselves on the ice floes when they need a rest. Their large bodies make it rather awkward to move on land and while they are certainly not the most graceful of the seal species, it is often said that they are the most beautiful.

Weddell Seals

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These streamlined seals stand out with their doglike noses. They feed on krill and have a thick layer of blubber that allows them to exist in the very cool waters of the south. Their main enemy is the leopard seal and many crabeater seals have the battle scars to prove it!

These seals actually live under the ice that surrounds the Antarctic Coast, keeping them safe from predators such as killer whales and leopard seals that find the region too cold. Weddell seals are the most southern of the seal species and are the only seals that permanently inhabit the edge of the Antarctic continent. These seals can weigh up to 140 kilograms and are keen carnivores, feeding on squid, krill and large fish.

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described as predators and you guessed it, the leopard seal is one of them. Growing up to three metres in length, these ferocious seals possess a long reptile-like neck and are hardly the most attractive seals in the region. With their gaping jaws and bladed teeth, they are one of the most vicious mammals around. Their only enemy is the other Antarctic predator, the killer whale.

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Because of their size, leopard seals are unable to move very quickly on land and tend to do their hunting in the water. It is quite common to see leopard seals happily resting on an ice floe with animals that they would otherwise be hunting. Along with the smaller seal species, leopard seals also have a fondness for hunting penguins.

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Leopard seals inhabit the pack ice and fast ice edges around Antarctica, particularly around the Antarctic peninsula. These seals are described as loners, so much so that it is unusual to see leopard seals with their pups. In fact, it is fairly rare that pups are even seen! Not much is known about the young leopard seals, however, it is thought that they weigh about 30 kilograms when they are born.

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Leopard seal, © 2002 Sally Gillies, www.cybamuse.com/antarctica.

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Ross Seals

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© Dr Mike Cameron, National Marine Mammal Lab, USA.

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This seal takes its name from James Clark Ross, a commander in the British Navy who spent four years exploring the Antarctic region. Curiously, it is the females that are the larger of the species, growing to lengths of about 2.5 metres. While many of the other seal types are similar in appearance, Ross seals stand out quite significantly. They have small heads, short snouts and small mouths. Unlike other seals of Antarctica, they also have very short hair and a distinct streaked pattern on the sides of their neck and throat, which often looks like a mask.

Elephant Seals

These are the largest of the seals inhabiting Antarctica. Southern elephant seals can grow up to three metres long and weigh a massive 800 kilograms.

© ReadyEdPubThese l i ca t i ons large mammals love lying around and usually huddle together •f orr evi ew pur po s eso nl y• for warmth. They have rather bad

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Animal Research

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© Patrick Boss, Australian Antarctic Division.

body odour and are more than happy to lounge around on ice floes making odd noises and smells. They feed on krill, squid, fish and even small sharks.

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Much of the research carried out at the research stations involve the wildlife of Antarctica. Biologists and Zoologists are very interested to learn about the special adaptations that Antarctic animals have developed. These unique adaptations have enabled the various animal species to survive in extremely harsh conditions for millions of years. Very few lifeforms are able to survive the harsh conditions above the ice all year round. Scientists also study the Antarctic food web, ecosystem, animal populations, animal migration and habitats. In addition to studies on animals, researchers also explore environmental aspects that impact on the wildlife, such as pollution, water currents, the formation of sea ice in winter, ozone depletion and global warming.

Check out some super seal pictures at these websites: The Sights and Sounds of Antarctica: www.cybamuse.com/antarctica Antarctic Marine Life: www.aku-aku.com/stock/antarctica-marinelife.html 24


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Playful Penguins Most people associate Antarctica with penguins. These unique flightless birds that waddle around in an awkward fashion, are the subject of many wildlife documentaries and are found in abundance in the cold icy environment of the Antarctic waters. Penguins are amazing animals that have gradually evolved over many millions of years, allowing their wings to develop into flippers. They are excellent swimmers and move much more easily in water than they do on land.

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Walking is not the preferred method of getting around. Penguins spend most of their time in the water. When they do walk, it is rather awkward and clumsy and many penguins prefer to move along the ice by “tobogganing”, which is where they slide along the ice belly first - a sight to behold which certainly looks like a lot of fun! Using their flippers to push them, penguins can efficiently travel distances of up to 100 kilometres in this manner.

© Patrick Boss, Australian Antarctic Division.

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Penguins are only found in the southern part of the world. As well as in Antarctica, colonies – known as rookeries – exist in parts of Australia and New Zealand. The Galapagos penguin is to be found in regions surrounding the equator, which of course has a completely different climate to that of Antarctica.

There are 17 penguin species. How many have you heard of?

• Adelie © ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons • African Chinstrap •f orr evi ew pur poses• • o nl y• Emperor

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• Erect crested • Fairy (little blue) • Fjordland crested • Galapagos • Gentoo • Humboldt • King • Macaroni • Magellanic • Rockhopper • Royal • Snares Island • Yellow eyed

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Emperor Penguins on the ice, © Trudie Waltman.

Emperor Penguins

These are the largest of the penguin species, reaching sizes of up to nearly one and a half metres tall. It is estimated that there are 350, 000 Emperor penguins living in Antarctica. They spend nearly three quarters of their life in the freezing cold water. Brrrrrrr!

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Breeding Season

Apart from being one of the most intriguing penguin species to watch, Emperor penguins are also the only penguins that breed in the winter. The nesting process of Emperor penguins is rather unique, with the male penguin playing a key role. The female of the couple leaves the ocean for the shore at the start of the Antarctic autumn. After laying one egg on the bare ice, she moves back into the water, and the male is in charge of keeping the egg warm until it is ready to hatch. He cleverly rolls the egg onto his feet and covers it with all the rolls of fat on his belly. Then, he moves over to a larger group with other males who are keeping their eggs warm. Once in a group, they all huddle together to keep warm and interstingly, the penguins do not eat at this time.

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Once the egg is hatched into a chick, the male feeds the new penguin a milky liquid that is produced in the throat. Soon after the chicks have hatched, the females return to the colony to care for them, bringing food with them. Next, it is the males turn to go hunting and after about three weeks they return with a supply of food. Around this time, all of the penguins are manoeuvred into a group called a crèche. The adults form a circle around them for warmth and are able to recognise their own chick through the sounds that it makes, in much the same way a human recognises a certain voice. After six months, the chicks have developed into young penguins and are ready for the big cold world!

Adelie Penguins

Chinstrap Penguins

Adelie penguins are the most common penguin species on Antarctica. They are found on the Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding islands, nesting near the shore in rookeries consisting of over 100 penguins. Some rookeries can contain up to a million birds!

There are literally millions of Chinstrap penguins to be found on the ice of Antarctica and the surrounding regions. They are more abundant than any other species. Some colonies even live on icebergs in the middle of the ocean.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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Chinstrap penguins have a clear, thin, curved line of black feathers running under their chins, giving this species its name. Reaching heights of up to 72 centimetres, the Chinstrap penguins are known as the boldest of the penguins on Antarctica and are more likely to fight other penguins for food. 

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Their diet consists mainly of krill, and like the Emperor penguins, they also breed on land. It is estimated that there are over 2.5 million pairs of Adelie penguins in Antarctica. 

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Creature Feature

Check out the Creature Feature at National Geographic online: www.nationalgeographic.com/kids/ creature_feature/0101/penguins.html © Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Penguin Adaptations

Other Antarctic Birds Penguins are not the only birds to call Antarctica home. More than 40 kinds of birds spend summer flying over Antarctic land. These include, petrels, albatrosses and prions. These birds are mainly classified as sea birds. Land birds include cormorants, gulls, skuas and terns.

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Both Emperor and Adelie penguins are known as excellent swimmers and are able to stay under water for many minutes at a time. Special features include: Flippers: These are approximately 30  centimetres long and allow the penguins to travel up to 24 kilometres an hour in the water. Scaly feathers: Help the penguins to move  quickly in the water. Their feathers are also water-resistant, which plays a key factor in their survival in the freezing waters of the Antarctic region. Their feathers are tightly packed and have a coating of oil over the top that stops the cold water coming into contact with their bodies. Streamlined body: Allows for graceful  movement through the water.  Feet: Shaped like paddles, the Emperor penguins’ feet are another feature that allows rapid movement through the water.  Blubber: Like whale and seal species, all penguins have a layer of blubber that keeps them warm in the freezing temperatures. Camouflage: Penguins are white on their  fronts with black backs, making them less visible when in the water. As they swim on their bellies, from the top, the black is difficult to see against the dark blue of the sea. From below, the light belly is camouflaged against the brightness of the sky. This colouring allows them to hide from possible marine predators.

The giant petrel is the largest of the flying Antarctic birds, and is so massive that if there is no breeze, it cannot take off!

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Skuas and giant petrels are predatory birds that hunt fish, penguin eggs and even abandoned penguin chicks.

Biologists tag birds of each species to monitor their growth over a certain period. Some birds, including penguins, are kept in enclosures while scientists examine their breeding patterns and behaviours. This method also allows scientists to keep track of the population numbers. By tagging the birds, scientists can monitor them at a distance without disrupting their daily lives.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Till death do us part... •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Interestingly, many of the bird species that

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Fly over to this site for some fantastic bird images! www.antarcticatours.com (click on photo gallery)

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Antarctic Land Resources Plate Tectonics? This is the theory that the Earth’s outer layer is made up of a number of plates, which have slowly moved and sometimes collided throughout the Earth’s history. This theory explains why the Earth has mountain ranges and volcanoes (plates have collided forcing the land upwards over many millions of years) and it also explains why similar animals live on continents that are thousands of kilometres apart.

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About 225 million years ago, the seven continents of the Earth were one land mass called Pangaea. It is believed that because of the movement of the tectonic plates, this one land mass drifted apart to become the seven continents.

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W ha t d o ge o l o g i sts k n o w a b o u t Antarctica? Geology is the study of the earth and how it was formed. Geologists are primarily concerned with the mineral resources that are contained within the earth. Using the knowledge they have of regions such as South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, scientists and geologists have formed ideas about the type of minerals that might be found underneath all the ice in Antarctica.

© The Re ady E dthePsplitting ubl i c at i ons diagrams below show of Pangaea. •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• 200 million years ago...

Laurasia

Pangaea

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You should be able to recognise the continents. The super continent of Pangaea began to split about 200 million years ago, forming two subcontinents called Gondwanaland and Laurasia.

Oceans filled the areas between these subcontinents. The regions of South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica all made up the subcontinent of Gondwanaland, and geologists figure that since these land masses were formed at the same time and with the same processes, they are probably quite similar in a number of ways.

60 million years ago...

Warnings from the Ice:

www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/warnings/ 28


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Useful Antarctic Websites 

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S 

www.aad.gov.au - Australian Antarctic Division www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/ - The New Zealand Antarctic Institute classroomantarctica.aad.gov.au - Antarctica Classroom

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www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz - Gateway Antarctica

www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/shackleton/ - Shackleton’s Endurance

www.fathomexpeditions.com/explorer/ - Fathom Expeditions

© ReadyE dPubl i cat i ons www.emperor-penguin.com/emperor.html Penguins •f orr evi e w- Emperor pur p osesonl y• 

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www.mawson.sa.gov.au - Sir Douglas Mawson www.antarctic.com.au - Antarctic Adventure

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library.thinkquest.org/CR0215022/animals.htm - Antarctica: Journey to the Frozen Continent

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www.scar.org/antarctic_websites.htm - Antarctic Organisastions

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica

For the Teacher References www.seaworld.org/wild-world/zoo-research/antarctic-study-trip/ross.htm

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

- SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Animal Information Database, ©2002 Busch Entertainment Corporation. www.70south.com

www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz

- Gateway Antarctica, © University of Canterbury. www.antarcticaonline.com

- Antarctic History, © 1998 Antarctica Online, MastroMedia.

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- Antarctic Bases, ©1999 - 2003 70South

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f o rr evi eAntarctic w pur p osePage son y• Answers to Slang: 15l

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city mice: support workers whose duties force them to remain at the stations

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pit/pitroom: bed/bedroom scradge: food

tin dog: another name for a skidoo, which transports up to two people across the snow or ice, sometimes pulling sledges behind them

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Chinese landing: a phonetic pun, based on the unusual aircraft angle when landing in stiff Antarctic cross winds: one wing low

greenout: the emotion felt on seeing and smelling green things (plants) again after an extended period on the ice

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helo: helicopter

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A-factor: the Antarctic factor, unexpected extra difficulties presented by Antarctica

winter over: scientists and support staff who stay through the winter


Library Activity Package: Antarctica

Index prion................................................... 27 seabirds............................................... 27 skua.................................................... 27 tern..................................................... 27 Blizzard.................................................... 19 Bransfield, Captain Edward (UK)................ 6 British Navy....................................... 6, 7, 9 Bull, Henryk Johan (Norway)...................... 7 Byrd, Richard (US)..................................... 7 Cape Adare............................................... 7 Cargo transport....................................... 15 Casey (AU Base)................................ 12, 13 Coal......................................................... 18 Conservation............................................ 21 Cook, Captain James (UK) ........................ 6 Davis (AU Base)................................. 12, 13 Davis, Captain John (US)............................ 6 Discovery................................................... 6 Dome........................................................ 9 Dumont D’urville, Lt. James (FR)............ 6, 7 Enderby Land......................................... 6, 7 Emperor penguins........................ 12, 25, 27 Erebus, Mt........................................... 8, 20 Fish adaptations......................................... 21 France research Bases...................................... 7 explorers............................................... 7 Fuchs, Sir Vivian (UK)................................ 7 Geology............................................. 18, 28 Gondwanaland........................................ 28 Greek Philosophy....................................... 6 Hillary, Sir Edmund (NZ)............................ 7 Hypothermia............................................ 17 Ice................................................. 4, 18, 28 Iceberg.................................................... 26 Ice core drilling........................................ 12 International Geophysical Year (IGY).. 11, 14 Joinville Island............................................ 7 King Edward (UK Base)............................ 12 King George Island.................................... 6 Krill................................................... 21, 26 Living in Antarctica accommodation.................................. 16 cargo.................................................. 15 food.................................................... 16 human adaptations............................. 17

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Adelie penguins........................... 25, 26, 27 Air Disaster.............................................. 20 Air New Zealand . ................................... 20 Animals............................................. 11, 21 adaptations......................................... 21 crustaceans......................................... 21 research.............................................. 24 food chain........................................... 24 land animals........................................ 21 marine mammals................................ 21 penguins............................................. 25 seabirds............................................... 27 seals.................................................... 22 whales................................................. 22 Amundsen, Roald (Norway).................... 7, 9 Amundsen-Scott Base................................ 9 Antarctica Antarctic Consultative Countries.......... 10 Antarctic Ocean.................................. 21 Antarctic Peninsula.............. 6, 15, 19, 26 atmosphere......................................... 11 bases..................................................... 6 claims................................................... 6 commercial tours................................. 19 environmental impact.......................... 19 explorers........................................... 7, 8 geology......................................... 18, 28 living conditions............................. 15, 17 research...................... 11, 12, 13, 14, 17 slang................................................... 15 tourism................................................ 19 tragedies....................................... 12, 20 treaty............................................ 10, 21 Antarctic Conservation Act....................... 21 Antarctic Heritage Trust........................... 21 Antarctic Treaty....................................... 10 Arktos........................................................ 6 Aurora Australis (ship)............................. 15 Australia (Research)..................... 11, 12, 15 Australian Antarctic Division.. 13, 15, 17, 21 Bellinghausen, Captain Fabian von (Russia).6 Biscoe, John (UK)....................................... 6 Birds albatross............................................. 27 cormorant........................................... 27 gull..................................................... 27 petrel.................................................. 27

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Library Activity Package: Antarctica Scott Base................................ 7, 12, 14, 20 Scientific Bases........................................ 12 Scientific Research............................. 13, 14 Seabirds................................................... 27 Seals........................................................ 22 crabeater seals.................................... 23 elephant seals..................................... 24 fur seals.............................................. 22 leopard seals....................................... 23 Ross seals............................................ 24 Weddell seals................................. 12, 23 Shackleton, Ernest Sir (UK).................... 7, 8 Shackleton’s British Expedition............... 8 Smith, William (UK)................................... 6 South Pole marker.................................................. 9 race.................................................. 7, 9 South Magnetic Pole.......................... 7, 8 transport............................................. 16 Special Committee on Antarctic Research SCAR.................................................. 12 Supplies................................................... 15 Squid....................................................... 21 Temperature............................................ 17 hypothermia........................................ 17 Terra Australia Incognita............................ 6 Tourism.............................................. 19, 20 Transantarctic Mountains................... 14, 18 Transport Auroro Australis.................................. 15 cargo.................................................. 15 hagglund............................................. 16 Polar Bird............................................ 15 skidoo................................................. 16 United States Navy.............................. 7, 20 United Nations......................................... 10 Victoria Barrier........................................... 7 Volcano (Mt Erebus)................................. 20 Vostok (Russian Base)............................... 12 Whales..................................................... 22 Mincke whale...................................... 22 killer whale.......................................... 23 Whaling............................................... 6, 21 Wilkes, Lieutenant Charles (US).................. 7 Wilkes Land............................................. 12 Wilkins, Sir Hubert (AU)............................. 7 Wingless midge........................................ 21 Whiteout............................................ 19, 20 Websites.................................................. 29

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isolation.............................................. 17 sleeping............................................... 16 talking . .............................................. 15 transport....................................... 15, 16 working......................................... 15, 16 Laurasia................................................... 28 Macquarie Island............................... 12, 13 Marine mammals..................................... 21 Mawson Base......................... 11, 12, 13, 14 Mawson, Sir Douglas (AU)................... 8, 12 McMurdo Sound................................ 10, 15 McMurdo Station..................................... 12 Melville, Lord (UK)..................................... 6 Memorial (Flight 901).............................. 20 Mertz, Dr Xavier (Swiss)............................. 8 Mineral Resources.............................. 18, 28 Ministry for the Environment (NZ)............ 21 Natural Resources.................................... 18 Neumayer (German Base)........................ 12 New Zealand (Research).............. 11, 14, 15 New Zealand Antarctic Programme......... 14 New Zealand Science Strategy................. 14 Ninnis, Lieutenant Belgrave (UK)............... 8 Norway...................................................... 7 Ozone Layer Hole.................................... 11 Palmer, Nathaniel Brown (US) ................... 6 Pangaea.................................................. 28 Penguins.................................................. 25 adaptations......................................... 27 Adelie penguins............................. 26, 27 breeding.............................................. 26 Chinstrap penguins.............................. 26 Emperor penguins......................... 25, 27 Galapagos penguins............................ 25 nesting process.................................... 25 rookeries....................................... 25, 26 Petroleum................................................ 18 Plate Tectonics......................................... 28 Polar Bird (ship)....................................... 15 Ptolemy..................................................... 6 Race to the South Pole........................... 7, 9 Research Stations......................... 11, 12, 13 References............................................... 30 Ross Dependency..................................... 14 Ross Ice Shelf....................................... 7, 14 Ross Island..................................... 7, 12, 14 Ross Ice Shelf............................................. 7 Ross, James Clark (UK)........................ 7, 24 Ross Sea........................................ 7, 14, 20 Scott, Robert Falcon (UK)....................... 7, 9

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Amazing Antarctica: Resource Book  

Through this topic, students will learn about Antarctica's wonderful wildlife, exploring the unique features and adaptations of species that...

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