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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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Chapter 5 - Rocks In McMurdo

One of the first things you notice in McMurdo is that it isn't all covered with ice. It is one of the few places in Antarctica that is virtually ice-free. But there are lots of rocks - big rocks, medium-sized rocks and small rocks - everywhere you look. Most of the rocks look like volcanic rocks, but they are all so very different. Lots of people who study rocks, geologists, come to Antarctica to learn about the earth and how it has changed through the ages.

OzGold is trying to pick up a large rock he found. This one was not very heavy and had lots of holes in it. We think it was volcanic rock.

I like this pretty pinkish rock. It looks like some kind of sandstone. It reminds me of the Desert Rose rocks you can find in Arizona and Oklahoma sometimes. If you like rocks too, you can learn a lot about different kinds of rocks at this 4th grade site. Maybe your class could take photos and make a website about the rocks you find in your area.

When we were looking for rocks, we found these bones on a trail near the coast. We cannot touch them. There are laws in Antarctica that don't allow you to pick up bones, feathers or animals (dead or alive). We think these might be penguin bones, but we are not sure. Do you know there are scientists who study penguin bones to try to figure out things about penguins? They use bones from animals that died naturally. they just go collect the bones or bodies. We met a biologist, Heidi Geisz, who studies whether pesticides used in other countries contribute to deaths of penguins. You can read about her research in the January 30, 2005 issue of the Antarctic Sun (pages 5 & 6).


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