Marine sponges become entrained into glacial ice at the glacial-marine sediment interface and eventually become exposed on the upper surface of the glacier through processes of ablation. The transit time from glacial base to glacial surface is estimated to be in the order of 500-5000 years. Exposed 'fossil' sponge material at Bratina Island, McMurdo Ice Shelf, was collected and dating was attempted although extremely difficult. The samples could include signals from microbial endosymbionts and may be used for comparative analyses with homologous extant organisms. Microbial molecular evolution evidence was planned to be investigated and species diversity was analysed.
Inconsistencies in the answers about previous use of items were solved as follows:
1. When an item was listed as used at Question 4 on page 1 of the questionnaire Aliens_in_Antarctica_QUESTIONNAIRE_2.5.pdf, it is taken as used
2. When an item was listed as used on page 3, it is taken as used, regardless of the answer to Q4 on page 1.
3. ... When an item has been indicated as worn in any of the habitats listed on page 3, it is considered as used, regardless of the answers to the questions mentioned above.
In a similar way there are discrepancies in the answers to questions relating to previous visits to the Antarctic. The values in the data file are as they were given in the questionnaires. In the analyses of the data these discrepancies have been resolved.
Data (two spreadsheets Aliens_in_Antarctica_VISITOR_data.xls and Aliens_in_Antarctica_ITEM_data.xlsx) embargoed until publication of papers A website will be available when the papers are published.