Skimming just feet above the waves, a colony of rare penguins takes to the air - proving they can FLY.

The incredible snap for a new BBC nature series, Miracles of Evolution, shows the birds zooming across the sea hunting for food.

They launch themselves down steep icy slopes with an upward curve to get the momentum to take off.

Then they flap their tiny wings to reach a steady cruising speed before eventually crashing back into the water.

Film maker Prof Alid Loyas said: "We could hardly believe our eyes. It was amazing."

"It's the perfect example of Darwin's theory of evolution working in reverse."

The flying penguins - filmed at King George's Island, 1,200 kilometres south of the Falklands - are just part of the TV crew's astonishing discoveries.

They also found a lizard that swallows itself to deter predators and a species of rapping frog that attracts mates by rubbing its hind legs together to make music.