Bird's eye view of life in Antarctica captured by penguins (VIDEO)

(CBS/Reuters) - Cameras strapped to the backs of 15 Adelie penguins show what life is like beneath the ice in Antarctica.

The video was released by Japan's National Institute of Polar Research.

"Fundamentally, Adelie penguins spend much of their lives during the summer under the sea ice, so it's hard for humans to observe them in their natural habitat," said the Institute's Hiroyasu Kumagae.

"The researchers got the idea of putting cameras on the penguins and getting them to act as 'cameramen.'"

Researchers observing the birds at one colony attached the tiny video cameras - each 0.83 inches wide and 3.2 inches long, weighing 1.2 ounces - to the penguins with special tape.

The cameras automatically switched on once the penguins entered the water and shot approximately 90 minutes of footage.

Cameras were retrieved from 14 of the 15 penguins and video footage was successfully removed from ten.

Kumagae says that the hardware did not harm the animals.

"I think they probably didn't like having the cameras attached very much, though of course I don't know how a penguin thinks," he said. "It would have felt that it was carrying something but, otherwise there was no stress on its body, and its movements were not limited."