By R. Gilles (Eds.)
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Extra info for Animals and Environmental Fitness: Physiological and Biochemical Aspects of Adaptation and Ecology. Invited Lectures
Rarely did they release them, although some birds found freedom after being tagged. In Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851), the sailors loosed an albatross with a marked leather tag. In 1886, an Australian newspaper reported that a boy in Freemantle had come across a recently dead albatross with a message on a tin band around its neck. Written in French, the message reported that thirteen shipwrecked sailors were marooned on the Iles Crozet, thirty-five hundred miles west of Australia. A search party set out, reaching Crozet about two months later, only to find a second message that indicated the party had headed for a neighboring island.
Some killed them for sport, wagering on marksmanship and the number they could down in the wake. “It was a grievous sight to see the splendid bird float off, dead,”3 lamented one passenger. Sailing vessels replaced by reliable steamers ferried millions of emigrants from Europe into the Southern Ocean, over one million to Australia from 1788 to 13 9/16/11 10:12 AM PART ON E: TH E ALBATROSS 14 1880, for example. ”4 A source of long-lasting and ongoing devastation of seabird colonies was the introduction of European livestock and other alien species of plants and animals.
However, as winter set in and the hunting season ended, he began to notice that the birds hanging around the factories were dying, likely starving to death. Reliance on easy pickings had caused the birds to abandon their foraging instincts, Murphy feared. ”14 The Norway or Brown Rat had scuttled ashore decades earlier from sealing vessels and progressively gnawed its way into colonies of nesting terns and petrels, turning live birds into “vast graveyards of clean-picked bones”15 that he found heaped around Cumberland Bay, the main landing place.
Animals and Environmental Fitness: Physiological and Biochemical Aspects of Adaptation and Ecology. Invited Lectures by R. Gilles (Eds.)