Wildlife

The Antarctic and sub-Antarctic are home to an incredible array of wildlife.

Whales

Blue whales worldwide produce sounds that are extremely low frequency. Some of the sounds are below the frequency range of human hearing. These sounds can be played back 2–8 times faster than normal to shift the pitch of the sound into a range that is audible for humans.

Blue whale D-calls recorded from a sonobuoy deployed near Antarctic blue whales in the northern Ross Sea.
Credit: Brian Miller
Blue whale AM/FM-calls recorded from a sonobuoy deployed near Antarctic blue whales in the northern Ross Sea during 2015.
Credit: Brian Miller
Recorded on an Antarctic Division moored acoustic recorder along the resupply route to Casey Station in 2014. The sound is sped-up 8× to raise the pitch and make it audible to humans.
Credit: Brian Miller
The song of the pygmy blue whale (sped up 4× to raise the pitch to be audible to humans). You may need to use headphones to hear this.
Audio believed to be from Antarctic minke whales. They were recorded in 2014 by the Antarctic Division’s moored acoustic recorder at a long-term recording site along the Mawson resupply route.

Seals

Seals use a variety of calls underwater during the breeding season, and these are accompanied by the sound of sea ice breaking and cracking. They also make noises above ground, such as breathing and yawning.

An elephant seal demands others to stay away from its territory.
This seal is holding its nostrils just above the water and taking some breaths.
This call is a long high whistle, falling in tone.
This call consists of repeated chirps.
This call is a single, slowly descending tone.
This call consists of a series of descending chirps.
This seal has a nice big yawn while resting on the ice.

Penguins

Among the wide variety of penguin species are some quite different calls.

A couple of Adélie penguins have a squabble on Béchervaise Island.
The chicks’ calls are short and high pitched, and the adults’ calls are longer and deeper.
Yes, penguins can sneeze!

Flying birds

Penguins aren't the only birds in Antarctica.

A pair of black-browed albatross followed by group calls.
Credit: Graham Robertson

Transport

A variety of aircraft, vehicles and vessels are used for Antarctic operations.

Aviation

The A319 aircraft idles on the runway at Hobart, prior to departure to Casey.
Basler aircraft are used for general operations within Antarctica.
Helicopters are used for many purposes within Antarctica, including station resupply and science support.
Twin Otter aircraft are used for general operations within Antarctica.

Ground vehicles

Hägglunds are used to support field activities both close to station and thousands of kilometres away.

Watercraft

Aurora Australis’ anchor chain breaking through the ice; then the anchor emerges and clashes against the side of the ship.
Credit: Warwick Barnes
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