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First ANTSIE research published

Our first paper exploring the record of past snow petrel diet in stomach-oil deposits has been published in Climate of the Past. We show that through a combination of fatty acid analysis, element distributions, and stable isotope changes, we can reconstruct the snow petrel diet switching from “mixed” (fish, krill, squid) to “fish-dominated” diets. The deposit is ~22,000-31,000 years old, so it records snow petrels foraging during the last ice age, when the sea ice was more extensive than today. The paper can be accessed from the link below.

Selected key data from McClymont et al. (2022): by tracing relative inputs of krill and fish to the snow petrel diet, we were able to identify a ~1000 year window where krill became a very minor part of the diet. Today, we might expect that this reflects feeding in coastal settings. Here, we propose that the very extensive sea ice pack developed opening (polynyas) which supported snow petrel foraging.

McClymont, Erin L., Bentley, Michael J., Hodgson, Dominic A., Spencer-Jones, Charlotte L., Wardley, Thomas, West, Martin D., Croudace, Ian W., Berg, Sonja, Gröcke, Darren R., Kuhn, Gerhard, Jamieson, Stewart S. R., Sime, Louise and Phillips, Richard A. (2022) ‘Summer sea-ice variability on the Antarctic margin during the last glacial period reconstructed from snow petrel (Pagodroma nivea) stomach-oil deposits.’, Climate of the Past, 18 (2). pp. 381-403.