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Number of results: 9
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Abstract

The microclimate of the nest-sites of Pygoscelis adeliae, P. antarctica and P. papua was studied from December 1979 to January 1981. The temperature of the ground, air temperature at 0.05 m, 0.35 m ad 2 m and wind velocity at 0.35 m and 2 m above the ground were recorded. The wind velocity in the places chosen by penguins for nesting was lower than at the meteorological station by 22% to 60%. It was proved that in winter the mean monthly ground temperature at the nesting places was lower than that at the meterological station by 6 to 8°C due to the much thinner snow cover. Pygoscelid penguins chose for nesting places of specific microclimate and modified the wind velocity, temperature of the ground and, to a leser extent, the air temperature.
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Abstract

In colonies situated at the southern coast of King George Island the nesting areas of penguins of the genus Pygoscelis were investigated with respect to the protection of eggs and chicks against flooding. Relationships between the nesting strategy determined by the characteristics of breeding grounds, degree of colonization and breeding time, and the climatic conditions of zones in which majorities of particular species populations breed were presented. It was recorded, that interspecific differences in nesting strategy of pygoscelid penguins enable species which breed sympatrically to avoid competition for the nest-sites, and also seem to be responsible for various population dynamics of species in the maritime Antarctic.
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Abstract

Carotenoid composition of both penguin faeces and the lichen Caloplaca regalis has been analyzed by thin layer chromatography. Carotenoids in both samples are almost identical to those found in the krill, the main food of the penguins, including β-carotene, which is not found in other Theloschistaceae species.
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Abstract

The results of investigations on the coccidian parasites of three species of penguins ( Pygoscelis antarctica , P. papua and P. adeliae ), nesting at Livingston and King George Island (South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic) are presented. Three coccidian para− sites: Eimeria pygosceli Golemansky, 2003, Eimeria sp. and Isospora sp. were identified in faecal samples from 360 examined birds. The total prevalence of coccidian parasites was high: about 35% in all of examined penguins. No host specificity was observed. It is attributed due to the close phylogenetic relations, common habitats and nesting territories, similar feeding and reproductive biology of the three penguin species. In more than 20 specimens of investigated penguins a high intensity of oocysts in their guano was observed (80–220 oocysts in one microscopic field at magnification of 150×) an indirect indication of the negative role of the coccidian infections on penguin populations.
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Abstract

The results of several years of studies concerning the role of penguin rookeries in the functioning of the land ecosystems in the maritime Antarctic are summarized. The origins of phosphatic ornithogenic soil in the areas of currently active penguin rookeries arc presented. In the maritime Antarctic occurs relatively fast microbiological decomposition and mineralization of large amounts of excrements carried into coastal area by penguins during breeding period. Chemically aggressive water solutions of guano react with underlaying rocks. This process brings about the occurrence of wide zones of phosphatization. These processes cause the appearance of the series of phosphate minerals whose composition and properties depend on the changing physical and chemical conditions of the soil environment. It has been discovered that in the rookeries for various reasons abandoned by penguins phosphates are still present in large amounts and, gradually changed and washed out, have been for hundreds, or even thousands years a source of nutrients for plants growing in poor Antarctic land ecosystems. These soils came to be called the relic ornithogenic soils of the maritime Antarctic. The stages of plant colonization in the abandoned penguin rookeries were traced. The differences in the fate of the organic matter carried out from the sea to the coastal area by sea-birds in various climatic zones were discussed.
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Abstract

At the turn of October 1985, the abundance of breeding Adelie penguins was estimated at the Hope Bay oasis on the Antarctic Peninsula and on Seymour Island. In the Hope Bay rookery, 123850 pairs of penguins were recorded, beginning their breeding at the end of October. Data so far obtained indicate a continuous increase in the number of birds sat this rookery. On the other hand, the Seymour Island colony consisted of 21954 pairs of Adélie penguins. Clear differences in the geomorphological structure of areas occupied by penguins in those two places are discussed. No gentoo penguins were detected in either of the colonies.
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Abstract

The only record of the Paleogene Antarctic Sphenisciformes comes from the Eocene La Meseta Formation (Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula). The analysis of tarso− metatarsi attributed to the genus Anthropornis (“giant” penguins) from the Argentine, Polish and Swedish collections revealed an intriguing heterogeneity within these taxonomically important elements of the skeleton. The unique hypotarsal morphology challenges the current systematics of large−bodied penguins and sheds new light on their evolution.
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Abstract

The paper summarizes results of twenty years of seabird observations carried out between 1977 and 1996 on the western shore of Admiralty Bay (King George Island, South Shetlands, Antarctic). Changes in population size, distribution and phenology of the breeding species as well as the appearance of non-breeding species are reported. A total of 34 species of birds were observed, including 13 breeding species. Among the non-breeding species, four were observed to visit the site regularly, six rarely, and the remaining 11 were observed only occasionally. Among breeding populations, three Pygoscelis penguin species, the main krill consumers, were most numerous. The Adélie Penguin (P. adeliae) dominated among the penguins nesting in the investigated areas, reaching 23,661 breeding pairs in 1978. Two other penguin species were less abundant with population sizes of approximately 7,200 breeding pairs for the Chinstrap Penguin (P. antarcticus) and 3,100 breeding pairs for the Gentoo Penguin (P. papua) in the same year. During the following two decades, breeding populations of pygoscelid species experienced a declining trend and their numbers were reduced by 68.0% for Chinstrap, 67.1% for Gentoo, and 33.9% for Adélie Penguins. The data reported here represent a unique reference basis and provide valuable information about indicator species, suitable for comparison with contemporary observations of bird populations in the Antarctic Peninsula region, a place of rapidly occurring climate changes and intensive harvesting of marine living resources.
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Abstract

Contents of PCBs was investigated using the gas chromatography method in the tissue of four Antarctic migratory birds: Oceanites oceanicus, Larus dominicanus, Catharacta skua and Sterna vittata, and the three penguin species: Pvgoscelis adeliae, P. papua and P. antarctica. Samples were collected at King George Island in February 1978 and, for comparison, in March 1983. The highest PCBs content was recorded in the adipose tissue of O. oceanicus and C. skua (15.7 and 1.2 ppm). Differences in the content of these compounds in the tissue of various penguin species in 1978 was observed. The mean cumulation level of PCBs in the adipose tissue of penguins was higher in 1983 than in 1978. Differences in the level of PCBs contents in the tissue of migratory birds were related to their winter migrations to areas polluted to various degress with PCBs remains. A tendency to the increase of the contamination of penguin tissues with PCBs was observed. This tendency was related to the increase of vhe pollution of the Antarctic environment with these compounds.
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