Our Kids Video Book About Penguins
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All About Penguins
Let’s face it, Penguins are cool. These flightless birds waddle and bounce their way through life and are always a favorite a zoos, on television or on the big screen. However, they are so much more than what the cartoons portray them as. In this article we are going to explore the wonderful world of the penguin.
There are 17 species of penguin and not all of them live in the colder climates. They can be found on the Southern hemisphere (South Pole and Antarctica), while others prefer the warmer temperatures of South America, Africa, Galapagos Islands, New Zealand and Australia.
These funny black and white birds may not be able to take flight on land, but underwater they are torpedo-shaped dynamos. In fact, the penguin can reach speeds up to 15 miles-per-hour (24 kilometers-per-hour) just by flapping their flippers. The penguin is less clumsy in the water and will spend around 75 percent of its time hunting there.
The penguin is not without its own set of predators. In the water penguins fall prey to sea lions, orcas and leopard seals. The Australian sea eagle and the Skua will also take penguins from above. However, their cute black and white bodies do serve as camouflage. The white on their bellies help them blend in with the snow and sunlight, while their black backs make it difficult for the air-predators to see them in the water.
Penguins come in a variety of sizes. The smallest one is the Fairy penguin. This little fella stand 16 inches tall (41 centimeters) and weighs only 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram). The biggest penguin is the Emperor. This penguin stands 3.7 feet tall (1 meter) and can weigh from 60 to 90 pounds (27 to 41 kilograms). However, whether big or small, all penguins possess a bill that has a hook on the tip and also backward facing bristles on its tongue. This is so the penguin can grab onto its fast-moving prey (fish, shrimp and krill) without it getting away.
The mother penguin will lay from 1 to 2 eggs at a time (depending on species). Once the egg(s) are laid the father takes over the care as the female heads out to the sea to hunt. She may be gone for extended periods of time. Once she returns full and happy, it’s her turn to take over the tending of the egg while the male goes to hunt for food. When the chick hatches it is covered is a soft fuzz and immediately starts to call. This allows the parents to hear and remember its voice. As the chick grows and develops the parents will leave it in a group of other chicks, like a penguin daycare and they will both go out to hunt for food.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the amazing facts there is about penguins. Check it out for yourself on the internet, nature books or programs or by visiting a zoo that has some of these fascinating birds on display.
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Originally posted 2013-11-10 19:38:23.