Penguins Hop on the Scale for Climate Research (Video)

adelie penguin pair photo

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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adelie penguin alone photo

Photo credit: elisfanclub/Creative Commons
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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:
All-Black Penguin Discovered, Seems Underdressed
Penguins Star in Google's Street View of Antarctica
Mystery: 500 Dead Penguins Wash Up on Brazilian Beaches
600 Endangered Penguin Chicks Killed By Rain

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