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From Microflora to Megafauna

Although it qualifies as flora more than fauna, some life in Victoria Land is remarkable for its lichens and algae that actually live inside of rocks in the Dry Valley. These rocks are porous, and so these organisms can receive limited amounts of light, moisture, and carbon dioxide. The advantage is that the rock provides protection, and some of these plants are thought to be over 200,000 years old.

Ross Sea and Victoria Land are also home to the usual suspects of Antarctic wildlife. Different types of whales may be seen in the ocean, mostly farther out to see away from the pack ice that characterizes Ross Sea. Explorers will probably see seals closer to the shores, from fur seals and elephant seal to the elusive Ross seal. This solitary species has only been seen a handful of times, because it prefers to live in the heavy pack ice that it often inaccessible by humans.

If looking for penguins, travelers will most likely see Adelies on a cruise through the Ross Sea. Several colonies frequent the capes and Ross Island.

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