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14 November, 2000

FYI answer for 11/13/00

The most abundant form of fresh water in the world is ice. About ninety per cent of the world's ice is found in Antarctica.

When the weather is nice here, it is usually a very full day. All seven of us left early this morning for a ten-mile snowmobile trip to a place called the Penguin Ranch. Dr. Gerry Kooyman and other scientists from Scripps Institute in San Diego are researching the diving physiology of Emperor penguins. They have brought twelve penguins into the middle of the fast ice where they are too far away from open water to get away during this study, and they have a pen set up when the penguins are on the ice. I was able to take a look at the penguins on the ice and crawl down a ten feet by three feet tube that has a 360 degree viewing window under the surface about five feet. I saw the penguins enter and swim and exit the two holes from their pen above the ice. I could have stayed down there for hours in amazement.

After we returned from the Penguin Ranch, it was time for some work. We take a census at Turks Head and Big Razorback everyday. Part of the group helped to take a census, which Katsu, Yoko, and I usually do everyday. We were able to then find our two selected seals and attach a camera and two data recorders to each. We also had to get blood samples from each. We took about two-and-a-half hours to do this.

Mike, Shawn, Dan, and Cory were going out of the study area to see if there were seals up the sea ice that may have changed locations. Katsu and Yoko did not need me to finish with them for the day, so I got to go with the others. We traveled over fifteen miles and found only one group. It was a good find, though, because one seal hadn't been seen since she was a pup five years ago here at Big Razorback. There were also three other adult femaleswith tags. There were four that didn't have tags. I have been watching Katsu and Yoko do tagging about every other day. Today it would be my turn. Cory talked through the first one that she did and then it was my turn. I was okay with the first tag but struggled with punching the hole through the second flipper. The seal wasn't very cooperative either. It got done though. I just did a lot of chasing and sliding around on the snow and ice to keep up with her.

We ended up going out to Cape Royds. This is the location of an Adelie penguin rookery. It is also the sight of Ernest Shackleton's hut. It has been left as is for over ninety-two years. We walked around and found many bones from penguins and a lot of materials from the Shackleton days. There are over eight thousand Adelie penguins located here. We wandered around the area and took pictures for an hour. On the way back to camp we rode by Barnes Glacier again. I rode over sixty miles on the snowmobile today.


A rookery is a

Do you recognize which are the Emperor penguins and which is the teacher?

I am in a small room with an underwater view.

Yes, I have seen the penguins now, a whole day of them.

Cape Royds: an Adelie penguin rookery and the Shackleton Hut

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