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Penguins cope with climate change October 15, 2008

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Penguins cope with climate change

From Now Public, October 15, 2008

Adelie Penguin

Our lovable flightless friends down under have proven that they have more going for them than clay-mation cartoons and tuxedo parodies. We always knew that penguins were cool, but we may have under-estimated them again.

David Lambert and a team from Griffith University in Brisbane is studying penguin DNA taken from 37,000-year-old bones preserved in the ice of Antarctica. They are comparing this old DNA to that of living birds and are learning that the penguins evolve faster than previously thought, posing a potential explanation for their ability to survive extreme variations in climate.

Adelie penguins are a good model to study change for a number of reasons: they are one of very few species that have survived in large numbers over such a long time; they have lived through climate change before in the past history of the species; they have stayed in the same geographical location for a very long time.

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