Life of Sea | Penguin | Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. There are Penguins life in Galapagos Island named Penguin Gallapagos. Well suited for life in the water, Penguins are counter shaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have become flippers. Penguins are birds that can not fly, but they swim very well and most of their lives in the sea. There are 17 species of Penguins.
Penguins have shiny, waterproof feathers that help keep their skin dry. They have more feathers than most other birds - about 70 feathers per square inch. Every year, Penguins molt, losing their old feathers and growing new ones. Some penguins have a feathery crest (like the Macaroni penguin and the Rockhopper penguin).
The Emperor penguin is the largest Penguin. It is up to 3.7 feet (1.1 m) long and weighs up to 65 pounds (30 kg), slightly less than half the size of an adult. Males and females look very similar. All Penguins have a big head, short, thick neck, a streamlined shape, a short, wedge-shaped tail, and tiny, flipper-like wings. They have flippers that they use to swim. Penguins are counter shaded, they have a lighter color on the belly and a darker color on their backs, this coloration helps camouflage them when in the water, hiding them from predators.
Penguins eat in the ocean. They eat fish, crustaceans (like krill, etc.), and squid. All penguins are counter-shaded for camouflage - that is, they have black backs and wings with white fronts. A predator looking up from below (such as an orca or a leopard seal) has difficulty distinguishing between a white penguin belly and the reflective surface. The dark plumage on their backs camouflages them from above. Penguins have an average hearing for birds, it is used by parents and chicks to find each other in crowded colonies. Their eyes are adapted for underwater vision, and their main means of locating prey and predators to avoid, in the air suggested that they are nearsighted, although research has not supported this hypothesis.
Penguins have a thick layer of insulating feathers which keeps them warm in water (heat loss in water is much greater than in the air). The Emperor Penguin (the largest penguin) has the largest body mass of all penguins, which further reduces relative surface area and heat loss. They are also able to control the blood flow to their extremities, reducing the amount of blood is cold, but still keeping the extremities from freezing. In the extreme cold of the Antarctic winter, the females are at sea fishing for food leaving the males to brave the weather itself. They often huddle to keep warm and rotate positions to make sure that each penguin gets a turn in the middle of the heat pack.
Penguins for the most part breed in large colonies, the exceptions are the Yellow-eyed and Fiordland species, these colonies may range in size from as little as 100 pairs of Gentoo Penguins, a few hundred thousand in the case of King and Macaroni chinstrap Penguins. Living in colonies results in a high degree of social interaction between the birds, which led to a large repertoire of both visual and vocal displays in all species of penguins. Penguins form monogamous pairs for a breeding season, although the rate the same pair of coupled varies greatly. Most penguins two eggs in a clutch, although the two largest species, the Emperor and King Penguins, lay only one.
Penguins generally only one brood to explain the exception is the little penguin, which can increase two or three broods in a season. Penguin eggs are smaller than other species such as proportional to the weight of the parent birds. When mothers lose a chick, they sometimes try to "steal" another mother's chick, usually unsuccessfully as other women around to help the defending mother keeping her chick.
Penguins seem to have no special fear of humans and have approached groups of explorers without hesitation. This is probably because penguins have no land predators in Antarctica or the nearby islands. Instead, Penguins are at risk at sea from predators such as leopard seal. Penguins are popular around the world, especially for their unusually upright, waddling gait and (compared to other birds) lack of fear of humans. Their striking black and white plumage is often likened to a tuxedo to adjust.
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