BEIJING, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- A study by Chinese scientists in East Antarctica has shown that penguins existed in the region 14,600 years ago, 6,000 years earlier than previously thought.
The study was conducted by a research team from a laboratory co-founded by the State Oceanic Administration and the University of Science and Technology of China.
The research in the Vestfold Hills in East Antarctica found deglacial sediment dating back 15,600 years, and sediment of penguin excrement and dirt dating back 14,600 years. This shows that penguins immigrated there around 1,000 years after the ice sheet melted, and the population kept growing.
The results are important for research into the evolution of seabird breeding grounds in polar regions, the positioning of penguin shelters during the last deglaciation and penguin migration in Antarctica.