Penguin “Guano” Leads to Stinky Findings
Steven J. Roberts and other scientists studied penguin “guano” to find out the cause for the gentoo penguins’ change in population on Ardley Island, Antarctica. These scientists hoped to find out about changes in climate and sea level but found samples of the guano (penguin waste) and were intrigued to know more. They already knew that around 7,000 years ago, penguins first arrived at Ardley Island, but were killed by volcanic eruptions. So they looked at the ash layers of the guano and calculated the population based on the amount of guano that would flow into the lake. Even though the researchers did not find a pattern for climate or sea level change, they found out that three large eruptions wiped out the penguin population on Ardley Island between 5,500 and 3,000 years ago.
The article, “In Ancient Guano, a Record of Penguin Disaster,” is important for science because it taught us that tragedies that happen in small areas could have a greater impact on a population than global climate problems. It also shows researchers that the first plan is not always the one that needs to be researched because another set of evidence could bring more results to a study. I chose this article because I think penguins are the real deal and they need respect so we should learn about problems with their population. This article is important for the world because it showed us how to find information on endangered or extinct animals. This also relates to our unit about wolves and their population being endangered in certain areas.
By Jack 4L