This morning I was reading this article by Nathan Myhrvold about his trip to the Falkland Islands. A very good read it was and the photographs he took are astounding. Myhrvold talks about the different species he encounters including the Magellanic (which he mistakenly refers to as Jack Ass penguins – those are the African), Gentoo, Rockhopper, and King penguins. He also mentions how we could possibly be so intrigued by penguins and where their cuteness factor derives from. There is one photo there that explores a different aspect that not too many people usually think about. Penguin crap. (Don’t look at this unless you really want to see penguin crap. Yes, I’m serious. I warned you.) Yes, everybody poops including penguins. And boy, do they ever. Their nesting grounds are streamed with it.
Honestly, penguins can be truly disgusting birds. Of course, I guess I could say that about any species if I’m talking about their poo. The thing that intrigued me about that photo linked above was the trajectory and force that little guy was exerting. Luckily, Myhrvold links to the web site of Professor Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow. Meyer-Rochow has actually done research on how penguins generated the pressure to project their poo. Yes, I’m serious. He won an Ig-Nobel Prize for this research.
I do encourage you to read the above article. It is very interesting. I mean, you can’t make this crap up.