Tonight I watched Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom entitled, “Return to Penguin City.” In this episode they talked of the scientists’ research of the Adelies’ annual migration to their breeding grounds, the incubation of the eggs, the raising of the chicks, and their lives in their colonies on the Antarctic peninsula. It was a very interesting show. I mostly found their behaviors particularly fascinating.
When the juveniles left their creches, they were like tourists going to the big city of the first time, in awe with their mouthes gaped open. Also along with unfamiliar surroundings, these penguins needed to learn the local lingo and proper gestures. Once they’ve laid their claim to some real estate, they must use their new behaviors to keep it theirs, sometimes by being aggressive – growling & snipping at each other and picking fights. Even though it should be common sense, it’s amazing to see animals exhibit the same behaviors as humans.
The episode also talked of the links between the amount of pack ice and Adelie populations. When the amount of pack ice increased, the populations thrived. The penguin population decreased when large amounts of their coastal ice habitat melted and fell into the sea. It does seem most obvious, though, when you eliminate habitat that the population of a species will shrink as well. I don’t believe they were trying to push any sort of opinion on the global climate changes but more of their scientific observations as they should be.
There’s more to the episode and it definitely is a good episode to watch. If you missed it tonight, it will be on again on March 26th at 8pm & 11pm and March 30th at 2pm, all times Eastern.
From the Animal Planet listing:
Millions of Adelie penguins storm the beaches of Antarctica every October, as they undertake an annual migration to their breeding grounds. For over half a century, researchers have been coming here, hoping to unlock the secrets of these penguins’ lives. Braving fierce storms, outsmarting predators, and scaling rogue icebergs — these birds are extraordinary survivors. But they may now face the ultimate challenge. In Return to Penguin City, scientists Grant Ballard and Viola Toniolo discover that rapid climate changes may not only affect the penguins in Antarctica, but could also have major repercussions well beyond this remote corner of the world.