Thanks to advances in technology, penguins can now take selfies. Like a snowboarder with a GoPro, a Gentoo penguin was able to document its twisting, diving, sardine gobbling, and general shredding through the waters off Tierra del Fuego, thanks to Argentinian scientists who fitted him with a special video camera. You can see the penguin rocketing through densely packed schools of fish, with other swimming shorebirds in the background.
The rad video of an amped penguin is part of a study comparing the feeding ecology of Argentina’s Gentoo penguins with the yellow-eyed penguins of New Zealand. Hardcore penguin researchers at the Tawaki Project have teamed up with Antarctic Research Trust, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and scientific and technical research group CADIC-CONICET to collaborate on the study.
The Gentoo penguin shot his video in the Beagle Channel off Isla Martillo, in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Argentina Program released it. “We were fascinated to see the Beagle Channel seabird community feeding on this amazing shoal of sardines,” said WCS researcher Andrea Raya Rey, who is also on the staff at CADIC – CONICET. “We wrote in many papers that the seabird community in the Beagle Channel rely on sardines but this is the actual proof, and now it is confirmed and with a star behind the camera: the penguin.”
Gentoo penguins thrive around the Antarctic Peninsula. They stand about 27 to 35 inches tall, weigh 10-19 pounds, and are known for their diving prowess. They may dive 450 times in a single day, as deep as 650 feet, in their search for crustaceans, fish and squid. They can stay underwater for up to seven minutes.
Gentoo penguins also like cleanliness. If last year’s nesting area is too messy, they find a new pristine area. Unlike many other penguin species, Gentoo penguins are expanding in distribution and population numbers.