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The Antarctic midge (a sort of small fly) is the largest fully terrestrial animal on the continent of Antarctica. At 7-8 mm long, it may not seem as impressive as an elephant, or even a house cat, but as an endemic resident of the Antarctic peninsula, it has to live in conditions that would kill most other "big game".

The midge is flightless, which probably helps it stay put during the high winds that can buffet the area. It can withstand being frozen, and nearly complete dehydration (just add water and it pops back).

Their lifespan is about two years - all but the last ten days are spent as a juvenile. Those last ten days are important, though. In that time they must find a mate and have eggs laid for the next generation.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Supplier: Robert Hole, Jr

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