Thursday, March 8, 2012


Else Animals:
Penguins are stout bodied, short legged, flightless birds superbly adapted for swimming underwater. Their wings resemble flippers and their bodies are covered with short, scaly feathers with downy bases. All 6 genera and 18 species, in the family Spheniscidae, are blackish above and white below, but some are banded across the breast (Spheniscus) and others have ornamental yellow crests (Eudyptes). Penguins are found in the colder waters of oceans of Southern Hemisphere, breeding near the equator on the Galapagos Archipelago, in southern Sourth America and Africa. In Australia and New Zealand, and on many island. Only two species, the adelie and the emperor, breed in Antarctica.

Penguins swim underwater with powerful strokes of their wings and use their webbed feet and stiff tail as rudders. Sometimes they make a series of porpoiselike leaps from the surface at speeds approaching 40 km/h (25 mph). Although penguins feed mainly on small crustaceans (krill), fish and squid near the surface, the emperor penguin may descend up to 260 m (850 ft) in search of food.

Penguins gather into large colonies to breed, returning year after to the same rookery. The female emperor penguin lays her egg in May and then goes to sea to feed while the male incubates continuously for two months without eating. He stands on the Antarctic ice in the perpetual darkness of winter, holding the egg on his feet under a fold of abdominal skin. When the females returns to care for the newly hatched chick, the male goes to sea to regain his lost weight. The downy chicks hard together into creches by warmth and protection as they get older. Chicks feed by reaching into their parents throats for food that is brought from the sea.

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