Come on in... the water's freezing! Adorable penguins leap into icy ocean in Antarctica
PUBLISHED: 17:24 GMT, 22 February 2013 | UPDATED: 17:25 GMT, 22 February 2013
A leaping penguin takes the plunge into icy waters in Antarctica as its companions prepare to follow suit in this incredible image.
The playful penguins were captured leaping from rock to rock and jumping into the sea off Cuverville Island.
Photographer Paul Souders, from Seattle, U.S., spent several days documenting the antics of gentoo and king penguins in freezing temperatures on Antarctic islands, capturing breathtaking scenes that resemble a real-life version of the hit animated film Happy Feet.
After you: The penguins were captured flinging themselves into the ocean from the rocky shoreline of Cuverville Island in Antarctica by wildlife photographer Paul Souders
Taking the lead: The penguin's companions gather around on the rocks as the creature skims over the icy water in Antarctica
One photograph captures a gentoo in mid-air above the ocean, leaving a trail of droplets in its wake.
Gentoo penguins reach a height of 30 inches and weigh around 12lbs when fully grown.
Like other breeds of penguin, gentoos can appear awkward waddling around on land, but the creatures are quite at home in the water.
Their streamlined bodies and paddle-shaped flippers can propel them to speeds of up to 22 miles an hour under water - faster than any other diving bird.
Happy feet: The penguins were spotted splashing around and leaping out of the water along the shore
Walking on air: This incredible shot captures a leaping gentoo penguin in mid-air over the water off Cuverville Island in Antarctica
Graceful: Gentoo penguins can often appear awkward waddling about on land, but the creatures are right at home in the water
Silhouette: A Gentoo penguin is seen leaping from rock to rock as the sun sets over Cuverville Island
Flying leap: U.S. wildlife photographer Paul Souders spent days tracking the playful penguins in Antarctica
Jumping for joy: This cute creature was spotted making a splash along the shoreline of Wiencke Island
Ocean spray: The gentoo penguin kicked up a shower of droplets as it jumped around in the water near Port Lockroy on Wiencke Island in Antarctica
Time for a dip: In this shot a King penguin paddles in the waters of Golden Harbour, South Georgia Island, while its companions prepare to take the plunge