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Images from the South Australia, Australia
One of the great tourism frontiers for travellers, explorers and adventurers is Antarctica, Earth's southernmost continent. Located in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, it is home to the geographic South Pole. This remote region is popular with tourist seeking an experience that is different and memorable.

The Antarctic region is home to an extraordinary range of wildlife, both living on land and in the waters of the Southern Ocean. Among the many creatures are marine mammals known as seals and sea lions. There are a number of species to be found in the Antarctic including Crabeater seals, Elephant seals, Antarctic Fur seals, Leopard selas, Ross seals, Sea lions and Weddell seals. Once hunted to near extinction, seals are now protected.

The Elephant seals are named after the large proboscis (nose) seen on the adult males. The proboscis is used by the adult males for making loud roaring sounds during the mating seasons. The adult male can weigh up to 3,000 kg, whilst the adult female can weigh between 300 to 900 kg just prior to giving birth. Whilst the Elephant seals may look big and cumbersome on land, once they are in the ocean, they are superb swimmers and divers. They have been recorded as being able to dive up to two kilometres deep and hold their breath under water for up to two hours.

The Australian Government - Australian Antarctic Division website lists Australian tour operators for the Antarctic. For those planning to include Macquarie Island World Heritage Area, information is available from the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service.

 

Many thanks to Jennifer Cooke for sharing the story and images of the wonderful tour she went on with Aurora Expeditions to Antarctica.

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Antarctica - Snapshots from Australia

Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonina)
Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonina) - Images © Jennifer Cooke
Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina)
Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina) - Images © Jennifer Cooke
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