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The Independent Online
Penguins don't find it a problem to tell one penguin from another. But scientists studying the polar sea birds have always found it tricky. Now the answer seems to be at hand: bar codes, like those for supermarket goods, stuck to their beaks.

The black-and-white codes, which have enough stripes to cater for flocks of up to 1,000 birds, were trialled in the field by researchers from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) earlier this year. Andrew Clarke, head of marine life sciences at the BAS, said: "We could put tags on their legs or flippers. But if they have guano or something on their legs it makes them very hard to read." Charles Arthur