Penguins summarize Antarctic alterations as they maintain records. The bird’s feather and eggshells entail the chemical fingerprints of alterations in diet, food web structure and even climate researchers reported.
The Antarctic habitat has altered dramatically in past few years. There has been a reduction in Krill small swimming crustaceans that are a source of food for birds, whales, fish and penguins in the Southern Ocean. Climate change is leading to change in wind directions, generating open water regions in the sea ice that turn out to be bad news for life.
These alterations have surging effect on food webs and generally the cycling the nutrients. Kelton McMahon, an oceanic ecogeochemist at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston said that Penguins are preeminent bio archives of these changes.
Penguins are at the central point on the food web of Antarctica and eating features are apprehended on their tissues. Dissimilar food sources entail varied quantities of carbon and nitrogen isotopes, disposition of the elements with varied number of neutrons. For example food origin such as krill and fish are composed of differing amounts of nitrogen-15 parallel to nitrogen-14. These proportions are conserved in feathers and eggshells.
Precursory researches already observed sea change in the isotopic values in Penguin tissues in the last 80 years. However, those studies could not differentiate between alterations in Penguin’s diet against climate based alterations in the isotopic values of the microscopic living entity at the lowest level of the food web.