June 25, 2020
Microplastics have been found in the digestive tract of one of the most isolated animals on Earth, a study has revealed.
When scientists visited King George island in Antarctica, almost 100 miles from the tip of South America, they found springtails clinging to the bottom of a piece of polystyrene covered in moss, algae and lichen.
The up-to-two-millimetre-long bugs were collected and taken back to the lab for analysis — which revealed that they contained tiny plastic pollutants.
The results are the first confirmation that microplastics have entered the Antarctic food chain — which springtails form the basis of.
This puts other animals including seals, sharks and penguins at risk.
Previous studies of Antarctic springtails have suggested that they suffer alterations in growth and reproduction due to the ingestion of plastics.
This article was posted: Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 4:09 am