As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 20 September 2018

Here's Why There Are Hundreds of Ancient, Mummified Penguins in Antarctica

By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | September 10, 2018 03:21pm ET
The bodies of hundreds of mummified penguins in Antarctica aren't a sign of an ancient illness that swept through the icy continent, nor are they the remains of a penguin massacre by a ravenous predator.
Rather, these penguins, who were mummified by the cold, dry Antarctica environment, likely died from weather on the opposite end of the spectrum: two extremely rainy and snowy events that happened over the past 1,000 years, a new study finds.
"It is quite likely that global climate warming caused enhanced precipitation, which led to the tragedy," said study lead researcher Liguang Sun, a professor of Earth science at the Institute of Polar Environment at the University of Science and Technology of China. [Charming Chick Photos: Antarctica's Baby Penguins]
The research team stumbled across the remains of the "preserved, dehydrated mummies," many of them chicks, in East Antarctica's Long Peninsula in 2016.
It's actually common to find the remains of dead Adélie penguins(Pygoscelis adeliae), including their feathers and bones, in Antarctica, Sun said. "But it is very rare to find so many mummified penguins, especially mummified chicks," Sun told Live Science in an email.

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