This week, RiAus introduces us to the tale of two closely related Antarctic penguins. We've got the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), with its lovely black face and white eye spots, and then there's the gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), with a bright orange beak and a thick line of white plumage running along the sides or right down the middle of its flippers.

Over the past few decades, Adélie populations have been in rapid decline in the Antarctic region, while gentoo penguins have been thriving, which seems pretty odd, considering how similar they are as species. Gentoo penguins are having such a good time of it, they're even extending their range further south, to give their burgeoning numbers more room to grow. So what's going on here?

According to RiAus's A Week in Science, changes in sea ice due to climate change could be the key factor that separates the fates of these two penguin species. Gentoos rely on sub-Antarctic islands for breeding and foraging in ice-free areas, whereas Adélie penguins keep themselves to the pack ice. So as this ice retreats, the Adélie penguins continue to lose great hunks of their habitat, while the gentoo penguins gain more ice-less land.

Antarctic fur seal pups are also feeling the pinch of climate change, and are having to come up with ingenious ways to adapt. Watch A Week in Science above to find out how they're surviving.

Source: RiAus