By Kelly Dickerson, Staff Writer | June 23, 2014 04:29pm ET
In the face of rising temperatures, emperor penguins in Antarctica may be forced to find new breeding grounds instead of returning to the same spot to mate year after year, new research finds.
Scientists are tracking this climate-driven march by studying the penguins' poop stains; in satellite images, the birds' dark droppings against a gleaming white backdrop of ice reveal their every move.
Emperor penguins are a philopatric species, meaning they return to the same spot each year to breed. When confronted with rising temperatures and receding ice sheets, however, the penguins may forgo their philopatric nature.