Are Adelie Penguins Getting the Cold Shoulder?

This activity allows students to use real scientific data to explore ecosystem dynamics; including competition and predator-prey relationships among three Antarctic penguins. Students will manipulate data using XCel Spreadsheet software to generate a graph to illustrate population changes observed in Adelie, Chinstrap, and Gentoo penguins between 1974 and 2010. A dataset for each species is provided. The penguin population and penguin diet datasets were collected in the Palmer Station Study region, which is part of the Long-Term Ecological Research program. This program began in 1992 and has been collecting annual data in this region (as well as numerous other regions in Antarctica) on a variety of ecological interactions.

Authors: Katie Lodes, Jeff Robbins, Tara Sain, Miriam Sutton; EARTH 2016


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