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Photo Essay
Under Antarctic Ice
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 ©2003 Norbert Wu/

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Emperor penguins swim in groups to increase their safety from predators. Comical on land, they are transformed into jet fighter planes underwater, complete with contrail. The contrails seen here are streams of bubbles. The emperor penguin's thick feathers insulate it by trapping a layer of air next to the skin, but often some of that air streams out when the bird swims.

--Norbert Wu