Pearl the penguin is off on the adventure of a lifetime to Antarctica…
She is hitching a lift with her human friend Dr. Bryony and travelling to the bottom of the world. Pearl will meet up with other penguins, learn about all the wildlife and see what humans are doing in Antarctica.
She has lots of penguin friends and relatives who are staying in the UK. They are going to follow her adventures and share what they are up to as well. Do you have your own penguin friend? Pearl hopes you enjoy her blog, write comments and let her know how your penguins are doing.
Have a look at “Penguin Profiles” to meet the other penguins and “Other penguin news” to see what they are all up to.
Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest and highest continent in the world.
90% of the world’s ice is there and in some places it is nearly 3 miles thick!
Humans discovered it less than 200 years ago, and we can only survive there for long periods by taking our own food and fuel.
At the edges, nearest the sea, there is a lot of wildlife: fish, whales, orcas, birds, seals and penguins. But there are no dogs, cats, spiders and only one type of insect. Only a few animals can survive as you get further inland.
It is more than twice the size of Australia, but in the winter only 1000 humans live there on different scientific bases.
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have several bases in and around Antarctica. Rothera is on Adelaide Island, just off the Antarctic peninsula (the sticky-out bit). Can you find it marked on the map above? It is the biggest of the British bases and in the summer about 100 people are living and working there at any time. In the summer it is light for 24 hours a day!
There is a runway where small planes can land and a dock for ships.
There are several different buildings for living and working in, one has an aquarium in to keep creatures the biologists need to study from the sea.
In the winter only about 18 people stay there. There is very little light in the winter, sometimes only 3 hours, and the sun doesn’t come up above the horizon. Because of the bad weather, extra ice and darkness the people living there cannot leave and have to look after each other.
Pearl and Bryony are going to be living at Rothera for 16 months – 2 Antarctic summers and 1 winter.