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SYDNEY – They prefer freezing conditions but Antarctica’s emperor penguins may have struggled with the cold during the last ice age when temperatures cooled, a recent study suggested.
Researchers looking at how climatic changes have affected the highly cold-adapted penguin — the tallest and heaviest of all penguin species — over the past 30,000 years suggest that there were only three populations in the last ice age.
But as temperatures have warmed up since then, the species has flourished and there are now seven times more of the penguins in many more locations, joint lead researcher Jane Younger said.
Ron Naveen, subject of documentary “The Penguin Counters,” counts a rookery of chinstrap penguins in Antarctica. The film follows Naveen and his team’s research on penguin populations and their strategies for coping with climate change. The film by D.C. filmmakers Harriet and Peter Getzels is a highlight of the 23rd annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. (Photo by One Ocean Expeditions). (Photo by One Ocean Expeditions/Photo by One Ocean Expeditions).