Earlier this month, the filmmakers of the new documentary series "Frozen Planet" caused quite a bit of penguin pandemonium on the web with a video of two penguins in flight -- as passengers on a plane, that is.
Now, the filmmakers have released another clip of the birds soaring through the air, and this time they're using a very different flight method. In the video, female emperor penguins propel themselves through the water and rush through the surface in a short burst of flight.
Some of the penguins are more graceful than others as they plop their bellies back on the ice. In a version of the clip obtained exclusively by Entertainment Weekly, narrator Alec Baldwin explains that the birds have put on some weight because they are returning from three months of feeding at sea so that they can bring back food for their young.
"The males have been caring for eggs all winter long and are eager for their mates' return," Baldwin explains.
As many may know from the 2005 film "March of the Penguins," mating season is tough for emperor penguins, who must brave negative-degree temperatures and a host of predators while taking care of their eggs.
The birds are facing even tougher odds though due to climate change, which is melting the Arctic sea ice the penguins call home. "....If the sea ice shrinks, as projected by climate models, the population will decrease -- we show a dramatic decrease -- by the end of the century," population ecologist Stephanie Jenouvrie told the National Science Foundation in 2009. "The population will decline from about 3,000 breeding pairs to date to 400 breeding pairs by the end of the century."
In the meantime, documentarians hope shows like "Frozen Planet" will alert viewers to the dangers of climate change.
"[The frozen world] is changing faster now than it was when the cavemen were hunting mammoth," David Attenborough, the creator of "Frozen Planet," told The Age in an interview on the series.
Check out the clip of the rocketing birds above and the video of the passenger-penguins below:
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