Gentoo penguin on algae-covered ice

Gentoo penguin on algae-covered ice

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Caption: Gentoo penguin standing on algae-covered ice. Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) are easily recognized by the wide white stripe extending like a bonnet across the top of their heads. Antarctica's freezing temperatures, poor soil quality, and lack of moisture and sunlight, inhibit the growth of vegetation. As a result, the majority of plant life is made up of lichens, bryophytes, algae and fungi, which bloom for short periods during the summer. Photographed at Port Charcot, Antarctic Peninsula, in January.

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