The secret life of the flightless and comical birds are now revealed as zoologists attach monitoring devices to a dozen male and female macaroni penguins.

Zoologists have wondered for a long time where these magnificent birds of the sea go during their long spells away from land - and now French scientists believe that they can supply the answer.

A team from National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) attached small gadgets weighing at just six grammes, to the penguins' legs by harmless plastic straps.

The penguins are then released to go about their usual routine of food-foraging. The device records the location, ambient light and water temperature wherever they went.

Scientists were amazed by how much these little birds travel, clocking up to 10, 430 kilometers(8,930 miles) in just six months, after they recovered and downloaded the data.

The study is important as it pinpoints the penguins' key feeding grounds in the sub-Antarctic Indian Ocean and thus helps conservation efforts.

Read more on the study: Penguins [Yahoo! News]