October 29, 2003

*What Do You Know?

About penguins...

I like pengies, so this one is just because it's my blog and I can talk about whatever I want. :-)

Penguins are flightless, but they "fly" underwater using the same motions as flying birds.

Emperor penguins have a unique form of child-rearing. The female lays one large egg, which the parents pass back and forth to incubate. After a few days of this, the female leaves to feed in the ocean. The male shuffles about with the egg on his feet, huddling with the other males to stay warm. If an egg is inadvertently orphaned, a male with no egg will adopt it. Two months after the mother leaves, the chick hatches and is fed by the father. The female returns, but not to her mate. She wandera from male to male until he allows her to take his chick. Then it is the male's turn to feed in the ocean.

Emperor penguins stand about 3.7 feet tall (1.1 m) and weigh up to 100 pounds(45 kg).

Little blue (or fairy) penguins, found in New Zealand and southern Australia, are the smallest penguin species. They are 16 inches (41 cm) high and weigh 2.2 pounds (1 kg).

Chinstrap penguins may be the most numerous of the penguins, with a population estimated at 6.5 million breeding pairs.

There are 17 species of penguins today. Scientists recognize 32 extinct penguin species. One extinct species, Anthropomis nordenskjoldi, probably stood 5 to 5.9 feet tall (1.5 to 1.8 m) and weighed 198-298 pounds (90 to 135 kg).

Despite their waddle, some penguins can walk as fast as humans.

Penguin colonies are usually found on islands due to the lack of natural land predators. Humans have encroached on some of the territory penguins used for millions of years; thus introducing predators such as dogs and cats.

The first documentation of penguin sightings is credited to members of the Portuguese voyage of Vasco da Gama in 1497 along the southern coasts of Africa. The discovery of South America's Magellanic penguin was chronicled during the journey of Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan (go figure) in 1520.

In the wild, most penguin species have a life span of about 20 years. In captivity, some have lived longer than 30 years.

Posted by Jennifer at October 29, 2003 07:26 AM


"Penguins are flightless, but they "fly" underwater using the same motions as flying birds." Actually with the proper technology, i.e. a huge flippin rocket, Penguins can actually fly. The motions that they make underwater lend themselves naturally to steering in flight.

Posted by: Ross at October 29, 2003 05:00 PM

My personal favorite penguin fun fact is how they discover if there are orcas in the water under a hole in the ice. They crowd around the hole jostling each other until one falls in. If that one survives, the others jump in. Very darwinian. I know that emperor penguins do this, I'm pretty sure others do as well.

Posted by: Veeshir at October 30, 2003 02:40 PM

yeah, the penguins can be deadly too. one species i saw on tv actually took an umbrella and attacked batman!!

no wait, that wasn't a nature show. never mind.

good ole penguins. so noble, so proud.

wak wak wak....

Posted by: mayor jimmy at October 31, 2003 10:06 AM