Scientists from Denmark were studying a king penguin colony to assess its impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
Penguins drive fish to the surface, enabling other seabirds to pick off their prey.
"It undoes all our hard work and proves once again that we are using plastic with our eyes closed," author Martin Dorey said.
The chick has waddled into the history books.
The king penguin couple may have felt the parents of the chick were neglecting their offspring.
The small birds are turning up on beaches dead or starving in an unusually large mass death.
The first member of the flock to spy the recording object goes in for a close-up, before a friend tries to hijack his spot.
The penguin had recently been rejected by his partner of 10 years.
The Long Island Aquarium's Pam, Angela, Fuzz and Sheldon "seem to like it, they don't get bitey."