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Emperor Penguin Visits Ukrainian Antarctic Station for the First Time in Four Years

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Photo: Emperor Penguin Visits Ukrainian Antarctic Station for the First Time in Four Years. Source: Ukrainian National Antarctic Scientific Center
Photo: Emperor Penguin Visits Ukrainian Antarctic Station for the First Time in Four Years. Source: Ukrainian National Antarctic Scientific Center

Ukrainian scientists at the Antarctic station "Akademik Vernadsky" have recorded the presence of an emperor penguin for the first time in four years. Researchers note that encountering these birds near "Vernadsky" is a rare event, as they typically remain deep within the continent where they breed during the Antarctic winter, according to the Ukrainian National Antarctic Scientific Center.

“This species is unique because it ventures the farthest south (up to several hundred kilometres inland) and breeds during the Antarctic winter, when it is dark and very cold. Additionally, they are the largest penguins on the planet, reaching a height of up to 120 cm and a weight of 50 kg,” reported the Ukrainian scientists.

Experts believe that the bird visiting the station is still quite young, as indicated by the grey coloration on parts of its head. According to the researchers, the emperor penguin seemed most attracted to the areas near the geomagnetic observatory, which collects data on the Earth's magnetic field.

"The last time such a bird was seen near 'Vernadsky' was in December 2020. Currently, the unusual visitor has been exploring our island for two days," the Ukrainian scientists reported.

Additionally, The Gaze reported that Ukrainian scientists from the polar station "Akademik Vernadsky" conducted geological research to study the planet's climate changes over the past 20,000 years and predict future consequences.

During the icebreaker "Noosphere" voyage from Chile to the Antarctic station "Akademik Vernadsky," Ukrainian scientists collected seven samples of seabed sediments from seven different locations near the station. The collected samples were meticulously described, photographed, and divided for further study in Ukraine. They will be analyzed in laboratories in Kyiv and Odessa. The study of these samples will help understand the history of climate changes on our planet over the past 20,000 years.

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