Luxuriant moss beds growing near Casey station in Antarctica are being nourished by the remains of an ancient Adélie penguin colony.

Australian scientists have found fossil evidence of the colony as well as pebbles from the penguins’ nests and the fertilizing nutrient, nitrogen, with a distinct ‘seabird signature’ originating from penguin poo.

The nitrogen is now feeding the moss beds after being locked in the frozen soil for up to 8000 years.