Mummified Seal Carcasses in the McMurdo Sound Region, Antarctica

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Science  18 Sep 1959:
Vol. 130, Issue 3377, pp. 716
DOI: 10.1126/science.130.3377.716


Information was collected on 90 mummified carcasses of the "crabeater" seal in the ice-free areas of the McMurdo Sound region, Antarctica. The carcasses range from relatively well-preserved bodies to merely old, twisted, winddissected fragments of tissue. They are hard and dry and lie on the surface of the ground, mostly in valley bottoms. The arid, cold climate is ideal for retarding organic decay. One carcass was dated by radiocarbon analysis and found to be between 1600 and 2600 years old.