Shown here, an Adelie penguin swims in the sea by Ross Island, Antarctica. Ross Island is a giant living laboratory where thousands of Adelie penguins converge in raucous crowds during Antarctica's warmer months to breed and rear their young. Researchers monitor the birds with an array of high-tech equipment, including computerized weigh bridges, satellite telemetry and microchips to identify individual penguins. In addition to advanced technology, 55 years of long-term research conducted at these colonies has made the Adelie penguin one of the world's best-studied wild birds, and, lately, a harbinger of environmental change.
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