Grade 2

Weekly Reader Article

The Coldest Place on Earth

Map of Antarctica

Map of Antarctica

Leigh Haeger

Experts say that Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. They say that some of the coldest temperatures in the world have been noted in Antarctica. People there wear special clothes to stay warm. But how do animals stay warm in Antarctica?

Look at Antarctica

Antarctica is a big icy continent. It is around the South Pole. The South Pole is found at the bottom of Earth.

Cold Weather, Warm Penguins

Penguins are birds. Emperor and Adelie penguins live in Antarctica. The penguins stay warm because they have feathers that are very small and close together. The feathers have oil on them. Cold water can't get through the feathers to touch the penguins' skin. Each year, penguins molt, or lose, their feathers and grow new ones.

Playful Penguin Facts

  • Penguins can waddle faster than humans can walk.
  • Penguins like to line up and dive into the water again and again.
  • Penguins sometimes toboggan, or slide, on their bellies.
  • Penguins surf waves to get back to shore.
Photo of a Weddell seal pup

Weddell seal pup

NOAA

Cold Weather, Snug Seals

Weddell seals live in Antarctica. Weddell seals swim in the cold ocean water to catch fish and other ocean animals to eat. These seals don't chew their food. They swallow the food in big pieces.

Weddell seals stay warm because they have a layer of blubber, or fat. They also have a coat of thick fur. The fur keeps water from touching the seal's skin.