Scattered throughout the Indian Ocean and onto Antarctica, the French Southern and Antarctic Lands includes the islands of Amsterdam, Crozet, Kerguelen, and Saint-Paul, and the Antarctic territory called Adelie Land. These areas are home to many animals on land and even more in the surrounding seas. The habitat afforded to the animals living on these islands is mostly cold, sandy, rocky beaches with grasses, mosses, and lichens; and annual precipitation is high. The islands are uninhabited by people, aside from the few researchers that stay there, so animals can live undisturbed in the wild. The land habitat is not only where the animals thrive though. Many of the species there live off the shore in the cold, dark waters.
Four species of penguins live on the islands, including King Penguins
, Macaroni Penguins
, Gentoo Penguins
, and Eastern Rockhopper Penguins
. Seals include the Antarctic Fur Seals
, Southern Elephant Seals
which are the fattest of all carnivores, and Amsterdam Island Fur Seals which are unique to the area. The rocky and sandy beaches are perfect for mating and giving birth for seals.
Many types of whales thrive in the cold, deep, open oceans around the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. Commonly known, the killer and blue whales
both live there. The blue whale is the largest known animal in the world. The second largest, the fin whale
or common rorqual also lives in these oceans. Whales are more transient, traveling many, many miles through the oceans, spending a portion of their time in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
Many animals call the French Southern and Antarctic Lands home and its habitat is home for many cold weather species, both on land and in the water.