Cameras mounted on the backs of free-swimming Adelie penguins show just how good the sea birds are at catching their food.
The penguins had a 100-percent success rate, never missing prey on video-recorded dives.
In this video, the penguin is catching a fish near the Antarctic ice.
Here, it's catching an amphipod.
And here, catching krill.
Adelie penguins live on the Antarctic continent and surrounding coastal islands. And while they have been photographed and studied above ground for many years, not much research has been done on their feeding behaviors in the oceans.
Japanese researchers, working in Antarctica's Lutzow-Holm Bay, used cameras on 14 penguins' backs, along with accelerometers mounted on their heads and backs. They observed the penguins eating mostly krill in the open ocean waters, but catching fish near the surface under the ice.
In their research paper, published by PNAS January 21st, they cite a study done using National Geographic Crittercams on Emperor penguins in Antarctica, with similar feeding behaviors.
Time limits on video recording minimizes image collection, so the accelerometers were used to track the penguins for longer periods of time.
Using both methods, the researchers found the penguins could catch up to two krill per second and up to 14 fish every 20 seconds. And despite the fish and krill's fast escape movement, the penguins have a way of turning their heads at the last second as a means of striking, and catching their meal.