04/18/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET
Somebody’s got happy feet!
This young emporer penguin seems to be on a stage all its own, raising its little wings above the ice in Antarctica.
The bird is one of the 595,000 penguins counted by the British Antarctic Survey in its first full census of a species counted from space.
Using satellite images to observe penguin poop – yes, poop – scientists identified twice as many emperor penguins as was previously estimated to live in Antarctica. The findings are significant because the birds live and breed in inaccessible areas, but the survey results will help researchers monitor environmental impacts on these penguin populations.
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