April 25th marks the start of the Adelie penguins’ migration northward into the surrounding Antarctic seas. They will swim only about a few hundred miles (or 600km), where they’ll stay aloft among the icebergs, chowing down on the krill and other penguin-y favorites.
600 kilometers? That’s not too far to “migrate.” True. They don’t really go anywhere. Since April is part of the Antarctic “winter”, it gets darker down there and the Adelies find it very hard to see in the darker days so they’ll travel north where it’s a bit brighter to hunt for food and come back in the “spring.”
Hope today is a educational yet fun Penguin Day for you! If you have time, learn some more about penguins or maybe do something penguin-like whether it be checking them out at the zoo/aquarium or finding an activity that incorporates them in a fun way.
Happy World Penguin Day!
Bonus! Here’s a short educational video about Adelie penguins in general.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium has had their first ever African (or Blackfooted) penguin hatch on January 8, 2011. Aw, that one’s a cutie. More details at the aquarium’s blog, Sea Notes. I really appreciate the extra information they give regarding the chick. Amazing stuff.
The webcam overlooking the gentoo population at the Edinburgh Zoo has become an internet hit this winter. People have been watching the penguins play in the snow and swim around in their pool. I’ve enjoyed watching penguins either in person at our local aquarium or by web cam to other sites. Be sure to check it out at the zoo’s web site. Also check out other penguin cams on our Web Cam page.
Juanita Constible has put up the videos of the adelies that she mentioned in a comment in the previous post. Most awesome! Since they’re just in WMV format (not YouTube or anything), I can’t embed into the post so you’ll just have to download for your viewing pleasure. They’re quite small though!
Video 1 – An Adelie penguin colony during a light snowfall. Listen carefully for the high-pitched peeping noises—those are chicks. About 25 seconds through the video, look for two penguins waving their heads around in the back of the colony. That is a mated pair saying hello to one another.
Video 2 – Two Adelie penguins walking toward the water so they can look for food to bring back to their chicks. As you will see, Adelies are a bit clumsy on land.
Thank you again, Juanita, for putting these videos up!
German robotic company Festo has engineered the AquaPenguin, a bionic life-size penguin that can swim and move underwater seemingly as graceful as their real life counter parts. The design and engineering involved with these robotic penguins are just incredible as they are able to twist and turn in small spaces. They also carry 3D sonar that allows them to communicate with other aqua penguins as well as swim autonomously around their environment. Check out the video below from Festo’s promotional material. Truly an awe-inspiring accomplishment in robotics!
Make yourself at home and read up on anything and everything about the fascinating world of penguins and my obsession of learning more about them. If you have any comments, feedback, or requests, don't hesitate to contact me.