The Flora and fauna varies greatly between the two poles. The Antarctic summer is colder than the Arctic one and this especially affects the flora. Adaptation to the environment has been the key to success for polar wildlife. The environment of the Arctic is sufficiently different from that of the Antarctic that unique flora and fauna have developed in each region.
However, for most travellers to the Polar regions it is the extraordinary wildlife that is the greatest highlight.
Antarctica is very cold, very dry, and very windy. These three qualities inhibit life to a great extent. The harsh climate tends to freeze living organisms, dry them and blow them away. However, animal life abounds in the seas surrounding Antarctica, and migratory seabirds and marine mammals are found in tremendous numbers around the coastal areas from late October to early March, and on the sea ice during the rest of the year. Unlikely as it may seem, the biological productivity in Antarctic waters is the highest in the world.
At first glance, the Arctic landscape appears desolate and lifeless. With vegetation generally limited to a few inches in height, and often sparsely distributed, the term 'barren grounds' would seem highly appropriate. Yet there is a surprising richness in this vegetation. Birds, with the benefit of their extreme mobility, are able to avail themselves of Arctic resources during periods of optimum abundance, whilst only about 48 mammal species are found in the Arctic.