more on poo – this time, it’s penguins

Funny how one thing leads to another 🙂 While I was looking around for extra material on moa coprolites, I happened across this National Geographic page on penguin poo & its significance to scientists studying Emperor penguins. Because the birds’ breeding colonies are so big, & because the penguins stand around in their colonies for so long, guess what – the guano stains they leave on the ice are visible to satellites orbiting high above. This has enabled researchers to identifiy previously-unknown colonies of these big birds. The site quotes one of the research team as saying Now we know exactly where the penguins are, the next step will be to count each colony so we can get a much better picture of population size. Using satellite images combined with counts of penguin numbers puts us in a much better position to monitor future population changes over time. From piles of poo to projections of population size – how’s that for an unexpected synergy?

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