Posted by: henrymcghie | January 13, 2010

World citizens

Scientists have satellite tracked Arctic Terns on their epic journey that takes them from the Arctic, in our northern summer, migrating south through the Atlantic, to the Antarctic. This makes for a 70,000km round trip. So, if you think some Brits are sun worshippers, think of the Arctic Tern that spends its entire life in summer (although admittedly it must be pretty cold that far north and south).

It’s easy to forget that the wildlife that we regard as ‘ours’ doesn’t recognise international boundaries. In the museum, we have many animals and plants that were collected from all over the world, mainly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. But each of those had a lifetime of its own, where it moved around. Even plants get moved around when they are seeds (and coconuts can float on the sea for thousands of kilometres).

Stories like that of the Arctic Tern are incredibly inspiring, where something that seems so fragile and beautiful can also be so tough and resilient. They make me wonder what things the bird saw over the course of its life and my imagination runs away with itself.

You can read the whole story


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