Thinking Citizen Blog — Wednesday is Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability Day
Today’s Topic: Wildlife VI — Penguins — flightless, aquatic, two-toned, upright
Goofy. They look goofy. They walk goofy. Emperor penguins look just like head waiters. And its not just the tuxedo thing. It’s the attitude. Or so I imagine. Today, a few notes on this amazing group of aquatic, flightless birds found almost exclusively in the Southern hemisphere. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, alucidate.
THEIR WINGS HAVE BECOME FLIPPERS, ADAPTED FOR SWIMMING
1. In general, penguins spend half of their time on land, half in the sea.
2. Some spend up to 75% of their lives swimming.
3. They can swim as fast as 22 miles per hour.
NB: Emperor penguins can dive as deep as 1800 feet!!!!!
BLACK AND WHITE FOR CAMOUFLAGE — FROM BELOW AND ABOVE
1. Black plumage camouflages them from above.
2. White belly camouflages them from below.
3. The technical term is “countershaded.”
NB: Predators from below would include orcas (“killer whales”) and leopard seals.
GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, SIZE VARIES — from 1 foot to 4 feet tall
1. Prehistoric penguins were as big as humans.
2. Today, Emperor Penguin adults can be up to 4 feet tall and weigh as much as 100 lbs.
3. The Little Blue Penguin (above), “the fairy penguin,” are about 13 inches tall and weigh about 2.2 pounds.
COLONIES, WHY NONE IN THE ARCTIC, LAND PREDATORS
1. Colonies can number in the thousands or even hundreds of thousands. Even a million!
2. The warm equatorial waters are a barrier to making it to the Arctic. The arctic equivalent is the black-and-white puffin.
3. They have no natural land predators against which they would be defenseless.
NB: They don’t just waddle on land — they also “tobaggon” on their stomachs to travel longer distances.
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Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to climate change or the environment. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to climate change that the rest of us may have missed. Your favorite chart or table perhaps…
This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.