Monday 14 October 2019

Microplastics are found in penguin poo

A gentoo penguin
A gentoo penguin

Henry Bodkin

Microplastics have been found in penguins for the first time, scientists have revealed.

The discovery was made in penguins living on South Georgia, Bird Island, Signy Island and the South Orkney Islands in the South Atlantic.

British Antarctic Survey researchers took samples from the scats - faecal matter - of the animals, with tests revealing 20pc contained microplastics.

"This is the first study to show that microplastics are present in the gastro-intestinal tract of penguins feeding in Antarctic waters and therefore potentially widespread in the Antarctic marine food web," they wrote in the journal 'Scientific Reports'.

"Microplastics have probably been ingested and taken up by gentoo penguins either due to misidentification of microplastics for food, indirect ingestion via contaminated prey, and/or via contaminated water."

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