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7 December, 2000


The group of researchers that are looking at penguins brought back an interesting arachnid yesterday. It seems that there are ticks in Antarctica. I'm not sure who invited them or if they have been here a long time. The ticks were found on Adelie penguins. They like to get around the neck area of the penguin. It is difficult for the penguin to preen himself there. Scientists have seen these ticks for several years and believe that the ticks may become more widespread among the penguins if temperatures increase.

Once they brought the ticks in I asked to photograph one to show you. It is about one centimeter in length, and has small hair like protrudences around its body and a very small head. Since a tick is an arachnid it has eight legs. If you would like to see a close up shot of the head send me an e-mail and I will send you the picture.

Today I went out in a zodiac and took water samples with Sylvia Rodriguez. I was allowed to drive the boat. It was a lot of fun, but I enjoy just riding in the boat to. It's just fun to be out. The temperature was hovering around zero degrees Celsius and it was snowing lightly. We left right after lunch and returned about an hour later. We dropped Go bottles down to six meters and at the water surface to collect our samples. I hope to do this again someday.

On Wednesday nights we always have a science lecture. Ray Smith has presented at the last two lectures and has done a marvelous job. I have been invited to give the next Wednesday night lecture. I'm working on several topic ideas. I'll keep you informed.

I hope you stop by tomorrow. On Saturday I'm going out with the group studying penguins. I hope to see some babies.


-- Bill

Mount Williams is nearly 5000 ft high. If you climb the glacier behind Palmer Station and the weather is clear you can get a great view.

The sunsets can be spectacular from the glacier.

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