Penguin Tags Are a Drag – Can Rubber Improve Them?

At a glance, it is nearly impossible to identify an individual penguin in a colony of several thousand. That’s a serious problem for researchers who want to identify and track individual birds as part of their efforts to protect them.

To overcome the problem, many researchers attach stainless steel identification tags to the penguins’ flippers (wings), but some long-term studies suggest these tags rub at the birds’ insulating feathers and slow the birds down as they swim through the water.