House mice that were introduced to Gough Island in the South Atlantic are attacking and killing both adult and baby albatross. Previously, scientists on the British island captured video showing the mice attacking and devouring Tristan albatross chicks, but this is the first evidence of the mice harming the adult birds.
Gough Island is a remote volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean that is uninhabited except for a small group of scientists who do research there.
Tristan albatross chicks on Gough Island.
A Tristan albatross chick looking a little awkward on Gough island.
A house mouse seems to be sneaking up on an albatross chick in its nest on Gough island. During the 19th century, sailors accidentally introduced the house mice to Gough Island. A century later, these mice have figured out how to exploit the island's birds.
Two house mice gang up on an albatross chick minding its business. The mice are known to eat developing chicks alive; their prey include up to 19 different bird species on the island.
The researchers found that these mice can attack chicks that are up to 300 times their own weight.
After being attacked by house mice, this albatross chick is missing the skin covering its head and brain.
After an attack, a Tristan albatross chick is in bad shape. The mice are literally devouring the chicks.
Bones left after mice attacked and devoured albatross on Gough island.
This albatross chick is still being brooded by its parent, suggesting the chicks aren’t yet equipped to deal with the attacking house mice, the researchers said.
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Originally published on Live Science.