To flee somewhere far away and then return, or to stay put and wait things out? That was the dilemma faced by small mammals during the last glacial period. Some made it – but how did they survive, and where?
In the breeding season 1988/89, within the region of SSSI No. 8, nesting of 12 species of birds was observed. The highest number of nests — 24430 — belonged to three species of pygoscelid penguins; 77.1% were the Adelie penguin. Relatively high fluctuations in the number of penguins in some rookeries in particular breeding seasons were confirmed. During regular countings of mammals' in 1988 the presence of 5 species of Pinnipedia was noted, of which the southern elephant seal was most numerous in the summer season, whereas crabeater seal — in winter. In the region of SSSI No. 8, breeding of southern elephant seal and Weddell seal was observed. Fluctuations in the number of seals in this region in the period 1977—1988 were insignificant.
Throughout 1978 regular counts of pinniped mammals were conducted along as 12-kilometre-long stretch of the Admiralty Bay coasts. The occurrence of all the six species of antarctic seals was noted, among them the most numerous were Mirounga leonina, Arctocephalus tropicalis and Lobodon carcinophagus. The number of these animals varied within a year-cycle. M. leonina and Leptonychotes weddelli breed at Admiralty Bay.
The Fleming Fjord Formation (Jameson Land, East Greenland) documents a diverse assemblage of terrestrial vertebrates of Late Triassic age. Expeditions from the turn of the 21st century have discovered many important fossils that form the basis of our current knowledge of Late Triassic Greenlandic faunas. However, due to the scarcity and incompleteness of the fossils and their insufficient study, our understanding of the taxonomic diversity of the Fleming Fjord Formation is hindered. Here, we report the preliminary findings of a Polish−Danish expedition to the Fleming Fjord Formation that took place in 2014. Three areas were visited – the fairly well known MacKnight Bjerg and Wood Bjerg and the virtually unexplored Liasryggen. MacKnigth Bjerg and Liasryggen yielded fossils which promise to significantly broaden our knowledge of vertebrate evolution in the Late Triassic. Stem−mammal remains were discovered at Liasryggen. Other fossils found at both sites include remains of actinopterygians, sarcopterygians, temnospondyl amphibians and various archosaurs (including early dinosaurs). Numerous vertebrate trace fossils, including coprolites, pseudosuchian footprints, theropod and sauropodomorph dinosaur tracks, were also discovered. Newly discovered skeletal remains as well as abundant trace fossils indicate higher tetrapod diversity in the Late Triassic of Greenland than previously thought. Trace fossils also allow inferences of early theropod and sauropodomorph dinosaur behaviour.