Scientists at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have recently described the loss of a small colony of emperor penguins on an island off the West Antarctic Peninsula. The loss is attributed to reduced sea ice, which provides an important nesting substrate for the penguins as well as an important foraging habitat. Reporting in the February edition of the scientific journal PLoS ONE researchers from BAS and Scott Polar Research Institute say that this is the first time the disappearance of an emperor penguin colony has been documented. The Emperor Penguin is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The male and female are similar in plumage and size, reaching 48 inches in height and weighing anywhere from 49 to 99 pounds. The dorsal side and head are black and sharply delineated from the white belly, pale-yellow breast and bright-yellow ear patches. Like all penguins it is flightless, with a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat.