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New Holocene penguin assemblages at South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

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Abstract:

Early Holocene penguin assemblages were exhumed at three localities (Pingfo I, Pingfo II and Pingüi) on the coast of Potter Peninsula, King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The role of taphonomic processes in the preservation of these remains was evaluate in a taphonomic approach, also, the properties of penguin bones were discussed, and available data were compared with those of modern biotic communities and similar deposits from Patagonia and Antarctica. The 606 collected bones were analyzed and assigned mostly to Pygoscelis (Adelie Penguin P. adeliae and Gentoo Penguin P. papua). The high percentage of chick remains at Pingfo I and Pingüi suggests the presence of nearby breeding colonies, whereas Pingfo II represents an assemblage not so close to a breeding area, based on its preservation style.

Keywords: ANTARCTICA; HOLOCENE; PYGOSCELIS ADELIAE; PYGOSCELIS PAPUA; SUBFOSSIL PENGUINS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2009/0023

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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