Video

Penguins Swimming, Soaring: "Intense Predators" Caught on Camera

Penguins are unmistakable in their black-and-white tuxedos, but a closer look reveals a lot more to them than just happy feet—especially when they're swimming. http://www.pewtrusts.org/oceanscience

In the water, penguins turn into "very intense predators," according to photographer John Weller, a Pew Marine Fellow. The renowned nature photographer captured these amazing images in the Ross Sea in Antarctica during "one of the most powerful experiences of my life," he says. See stunning shots of penguins soaring, swimming, and waddling in this new video, released by The Pew Charitable Trusts for World Penguin Day.

Penguins spend their time primarily swimming, but they come ashore to breed and nest. That makes them sentinels of ocean health, signaling changing conditions in the ocean and along the coasts that can harm them and other marine life. 

Because they come into contact with human activity such as fishing and beachfront development during their travels, they are among the most endangered seabirds. About two-thirds of penguin species are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.

But in the Ross Sea, penguins, like other animals here, thrive. The Ross Sea is one of the most species-rich marine environments in the world. Keeping the Ross Sea protected is critical for penguins.

Learn more about the threats to penguins and the science and outreach that may someday save them: http://www.pewenvironment.org and http://www.pewmarinefellows.org

Learn more about John Weller's Pew marine fellowship:http://www.PewMarineFellows.org.