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Each year in December, penguins with long blonde eyebrows swim away from the shores of New Zealand for a two-month marathon swim halfway to Antarctica and back.Penguins, universally adored and the stars of cartoons, are actually not well studied.Until now it was unclear where one penguin species – the Fiordland crested penguin – migrated each year in search of food.To find out, researchers with the Tawaki Project – which uses the bird's local name – attached satellite tracking tags to 20 penguins and followed their migration daily.This new information confirms that penguins are among the most extraordinary vertebrate swimmers on the planet.The penguin study was published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS One.Scientists believe that this could be an instinct inherited from an ancestral species of penguins that lived further south, before populating New Zealand.
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