Iceberg Crashes Into Antarctica, Kills 150K Penguins

Suddenly, their food source was 40 miles away
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2016 3:26 PM CST

(Newser) – Penguins have been recorded living at Cape Denison in Antarctica's Commonwealth Bay for 100 years, the Guardian reports. But their time could be nearly up. According to CNN, 150,000 penguins in the Cape Denison colony have died since an iceberg nearly the size of Rhode Island crashed into their home in 2010. The iceberg, which had been floating along the coast for two decades, made the penguins' lives drastically more difficult by making them landlocked. Instead of being close to the water, the penguins now have to walk 40 miles in order to hunt for food.

story continues below

Researchers, who published their findings this month in Antarctic Science, believe there are only 10,000 or so penguins remaining in the colony. According to the study, the dramatic decline in their numbers can be directly attributed to the iceberg, as another colony just five miles away is "thriving." Researchers believe the Cape Denison penguin colony will completely die off within the next 20 years unless the iceberg is forced back out to sea. The colony has provided scientists with an excellent example of what could happen to Antarctica's animal inhabitants if recent trends in increasing sea ice continue. (Read more penguins stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.