Penguins Hop on the Scale for Climate Research (Video)


Photo credit: es0teric/Creative Commons

Though the Adelie penguin is numerous—with more than five million individuals stretched across 38 colonies—their native habitat is changing rapidly. To keep track of how the birds are handling this change, scientists have built a special scale.

Using a corral system, penguins are herded onto the platform, where their weight can be measured. Keeping track of penguins' weight gives researchers a clue as to how much—or little—they're eating.

Adelie penguins were named by French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville, after his wife. They are distinctive for the white rings around their eyes, which are often likened to goggles.

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Worldwide, penguins have suffered as a result of climate change. Currently, the IUCN lists 11 out of 18 species as "declining."

Read more about penguins:
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Penguins Star in Google's Street View of Antarctica
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Tags: Birds | Endangered Species

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