Bird Bones Reveal Human Effects on Ocean Food Chain

May 13, 2013 9:03 PM

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Bird Bones Reveal Human Effects on Ocean Food Chain

Hawaiian petrels are now listed as endangered in the United States, but they are said to have darkened the skies of Hawaii for thousands of years. The birds' surprisingly well-preserved fossil record doubles as a time capsule for scientists studying fish populations of the past.

The gray-and-white, tube-nosed seabirds spend most of their lives searching for food in the open waters of the Pacific, but they come ashore to breed in burrows and caves. If they happen die at these on-land locations, the petrels' bones are preserved for a long time.

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