Almost the entire cohort of chicks from an Adelie penguin colony in the eastern Antarctic was wiped out by starvation last summer in what scientists say is only the second such incident in over 40 years.Researchers said Sunday the mass die-off occurred because unusually large amounts of sea ice forced penguin parents to travel farther in search of food for their young. By the time they returned, only two out of thousands of chicks had survived. “Not only did the chick starve but the partner (who stayed

behind) also had to endure a long fast,” said Yan Ropert-Coudert, a marine ecologist with the French science agency CNRS. Ropert-Coudert, who leads the study of seabirds at the Dumont D’Urville Antarctic research station, said the Adelie colony there numbers about 18,000 pairs who have been monitored since the 1960s. A similar breeding loss was observed for the first time during a 2013-2014 research expedition. READ MORE