Can Penguins Take a Selfie?


Last Thursday, January 20th was Penguin Awareness Day - lets celebrate these cute birds!


Penguins are flightless birds. Flightless means unable to fly. There are other flightless birds like Ostrich, Kiwi, Cassowary, and more, but the penguins are the only birds that can swim but can't fly.

There are more than 17 different kinds of penguins in our world and they primarily live in the Southern Hemisphere.



How do they keep warm?

Some penguins stay in the water for as long as 5 months. They eat, sleep, and swim thousands of miles and must keep warm in the water.

Penguins have dense feathers that cover their entire body. These feathers have an oil-producing gland that make their feathers waxy that keep the water away - therefore their skin stays dry.

In addition, penguins have a layer of fat under their skin called "blubber" that keeps them warm.


What do they eat?

Various fish and other sea life that they catch underwater.


Predators

On land, adult penguins have no natural predators. The eggs and the chicks might be eaten by birds. In the water, they may be eaten by seals and whales.

In order to protect themselves, penguins live in large groups and huddle.


Camouflage

Camouflage is a way of hiding something by covering or coloring it so that it looks like its surroundings. Animals use camouflage to hide themselves from predators and survive.

Penguins' black and white coat is great for camouflaging - the black back makes it hard to detect from above, and the white belly looks as if the sun is reflecting off the water's surface if you look from below.





From left to right - Louisiana State University/Michael Polito;

Paul Nicklen/National geographic


A group of penguins in the water is called a raft

but on land they're called a waddle!

A Baby Penguin is Called a Chick!




The Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Argentina Program has released an amazing underwater selfie video recently taken by a penguin fitted with a special camera. To increase awareness to penguins, they strapped a video camera to a Gentoo penguin, therefore being rewarded with a penguin's eye-view of how to hunt sardines.


The video shows the usual feeding spots of the Gentoo penguins which are near the sea bed, where they hunt for crustaceans and small squid. However, when they stumble upon a school of little fish, they won't miss a chance for a snack :😊.


To watch the video and read more click HERE.





Did you know?

  • Penguins are birds that can not fly

  • There are no penguins in the North Pole

  • Penguins can drink sea water

  • Penguins spend half of their life on land and half under water

  • Penguins in Antarctica have no land predators





Quiz - can you identify these famous cartoon Penguins?

(answers at the bottom)







Let's watch some funny Penguins:





Quiz Answers - From left to right:

  1. The penguins of Madagascar

  2. Wheezy (Toy Story)

  3. Mumble (Happy Feet)

  4. Cody Maverick (Surf's Up)



Vocabulary

Marine Biology - the scientific study of the biology of marine life, organisms in the sea

Camouflage - a way of hiding something by covering or coloring it so that it looks like its surroundings

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