1.pngScientists have stumbled across a huge group of previously unknown Adélie penguins on the most northerly point of the Antarctic Peninsula.科学家们在南极半岛最北端无意中发现了一大群以前不为人知的阿德利企鹅。Numbering more than 1.5 million birds, they were first noticed when great patches of their poo, or guano, showed up in pictures taken from space.这超过150万只的企鹅种群首次被注意到,是因为它们的大便出现在从太空拍摄到的照片中。The animals are crammed on to a rocky archipelago called the Danger Islands.这些动物挤在一个叫险恶群岛的岩石群岛上。The researchers, who detail the discovery in the journal Scientific Reports, say it is a total surprise.研究人员在《科学报道》杂志上详细介绍了这一发现,他说这是一个惊喜。"It’s a classic case of finding something where no-one really looked! The Danger Islands are hard to reach, so people didn’t really try that hard," team-member Dr Tom Hart from Oxford University, UK, told BBC News.英国牛津大学的团队成员Tom Hart博士告诉BBC:“这是一个经典的找到没有人真正注意过的东西的案例!险恶群岛很难到达,所以人们并没有真正尝试这么做。”The scientists used an algorithm to search images from the American Landsat spacecraft for sites of possible penguin activity.科学家们使用一种算法从美国大地卫星航天器搜索可能存在企鹅活动的地点的图像。Landsat does not return especially high-resolution pictures and so when the system flagged potential colonies, they had to be followed up with much sharper pictures for confirmation.大地卫星不会返回特别高分辨率的图片,因此当系统标记潜在的群落时,他们必须跟踪更加清晰的图片以进行确认。"And the sheer size of what we were looking at took our breath away," said Dr Heather Lynch from Stony Brook University, New York.“而我们所看到的庞大规模让我们屏息凝神,”纽约石溪大学的Heather Lynch博士说。"We thought, ’Wow! If what we’re seeing is true, these are going to be some of the largest Adélie penguin colonies in the world, and it’s going to be well worth our while sending in an expedition to count them properly."“我们当时想,’哇!如果我们看到的是真的,这将成为世界上最大的阿德利企鹅群,并且非常值得派出远征队进行正确计数。 ”But, as the name implies, the Danger Islands are notoriously difficult to reach.但正如名字所暗示的那样,险恶群岛是非常难以到达的。Even in the austral summer, the ocean surrounding the archipelago is filled with the kind of thick sea-ice that ships try to avoid.即使在南半球的夏季,群岛周围的海洋也充满了船只试图避免的那种厚厚的海冰。However, in December 2015, the team did manage to get on the ground to begin its count. And one of the most effective techniques was to deploy drones, which flew above the birds to make large mosaics of their nesting sites.然而,在2015年12月,一支队伍确实设法开始计数。而最有效的技术之一是部署无人机,它们飞过鸟类上方,对准它们的巢穴制作大型马赛克。"The drone lets you fly in a grid over the island, taking pictures once per second. You can then stitch them together into a huge collage that shows the entire landmass in 2D and 3D," explained Prof Hanumant Singh from Northeastern University.东北大学的Hanumant Singh教授解释说:“无人机可以让你在岛上飞行,每秒拍摄一次照片,然后将它们拼接成一张巨大的拼贴画,以2D和3D的形式显示整个地块。”