Hidden never-before-seen colony of penguins discovered from space

Hidden never-before-seen colony of penguins discovered from space

Hidden never-before-seen colony of penguins discovered from space

A never-before-seen colony of emperor penguins — one of only 66 known to exist — has been spotted by chance in satellite photos of West Antarctica that clearly show their guano, or droppings, staining the ice.

The colony is estimated to be home to about 1,000 adult birds in 500 pairs with their young, making them relatively small for an emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) hotbed. But it is an important addition to what is known about the species.

So far, scientists have found 66 colonies of emperor penguins on the coast of Antarctica; Many of them are in remote regions and have only been seen in satellite photos. (Image credit: Peter Fretwell/BAS)

Peter Fretwell (opens in new tab), a geospatial information officer with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), spotted the colony in December; However, the announcement was postponed to coincide with Penguin Awareness Day, which occurs on January 20th each year.

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