Penguin Fossils

4 Oct 2020

At ... which begins, snow melt caused by global warming .... reveals mummified penguins and hundreds of bones hidden for 5000 years - under ice in the Antarctic. First of all, one may note that if pneguins were living there around 5000 years ago, it must have been as warm, or warmer, than it is now, in the modern world. In fact, when you dig into the article you will find it has been as warm on several occasions - not just 5000 years ago. Apart from this the article is otherwise interesting as most of the bones belong to Adelie penguins and the feathers were perfectly preserved. However, the remains are mostly of chicks suggesting the site was overwhelmed by a sudden onslaught of cold weather. We may note that at 5000 years ago the body of Oetzi the ice man was frozen in the Alps and the Quelccaya glacier in Peru expanded by a considerable amount. Explorers first reached the area around 100 years ago and Adelie penguins have never been recorded, or spotted. Radiocarbon dating has since recorded three separate occupations by these penguins - the last time being contemporary with the Medieval Warm Perioid. It looks like they have been absent since the beginning of the Little Ice which they date around AD1200.

At ... evidence of fossil Manatees along the Texas coast date back to the Late Pleistocene period. Manatees in the modern world are confined to warm regions but do turn up in Florida in the summer months. The suggestion is that it might have been warmer in Texas during some parts of the last Ice Age.