Penguin | Exploring the World of Wildlife: facts about the Penguin

The amazing penguins seem to many people to be very funny creatures. And indeed, how can one refrain from smiling when watching their clubfooted gait? But in fact, evolution has adapted them to live in harsh conditions, and these funny birds are doing very well. But the influence of technogenic civilization is gradually destroying their habitat, and soon their population may be threatened.

Penguins today represent one of the most numerous families.

Fact number one.

Penguins have a streamlined body shape, which allows them to move through the waters of the seas and oceans without any problems. This is achieved due to the perfectly developed musculature, bone structure, as well as the presence of wings. Due to the fast, powerful work of the wings, such a good speed of movement of animals in the water column is achieved. In contrast to flying birds, penguins have a pronounced sternum with a keel, as well as fairly developed musculature. The bones of the shoulder girdle and forearms are fixed, which allows optimizing the work of the wings, making it more powerful.

Fact number two.

Penguins are excellent swimmers who can dive to depths of over a hundred meters. They easily enough overcome the distance of up to twenty kilometers, and even more, moving in the water column at a speed of at least ten kilometers per hour. There are species that are able to move in the water column at a speed of over forty kilometers per hour. When penguins are not in mating season, they can travel up to a thousand kilometers into open water in search of food. Penguins are social animals, so when they are on land, they band together in groups of tens or hundreds of thousands. Colonies can be so numerous that they can be seen even from space.

Fact number three.

Being in the natural environment, penguins live on average from fifteen to twenty-five years. Under the conditions of proper maintenance and proper care, penguins can easily live up to thirty years or more. Especially low are the chances of survival in penguins, regardless of species, not yet one year old.

Fact number four.

Penguins can only walk by holding their bodies upright in short strides. If they need to move faster, they lie down on their belly and glide like a sled, pushing off the snow with their flipper wings and legs.

Fact number five.

The eyes of these seabirds are more adapted to the underwater environment, as they have flat corneas and a system of contractile-stretch pupil function, so once on land, penguins suffer from minor myopia. Some research has found that their eyes are more adapted to the blue spectrum, so penguins are thought to see in ultraviolet. The ears of penguins are not pronounced, but while in the water they are securely covered with special feathers. Therefore, the ears are protected from both ingress of water and increased pressure. Despite the fact that the ears are almost invisible, the animals have excellent and delicate hearing.

Fact number six.

The ancestors of modern penguins once inhabited areas with a temperate climate, because then Antarctica was not the Antarctica it is today. Gradually, changes in climatic conditions occurred, resulting in changes in the natural habitats of many animals. When Antarctica moved closer to the South Pole, there was a mass migration of animals, but penguins were able to adapt to the harsh conditions of Antarctica. Penguins naturally inhabit the waters of the southern hemisphere, as well as the coastal waters of Antarctica and New Zealand, the southern regions of Australia and South Africa, as well as the coasts of South America and the Galapagos Islands. Penguins are mostly cold-loving animals, so their main condition for living in the equatorial zone is the presence of cold currents.

Fact number seven.

The diet of penguins includes fish, crustaceans, plankton, and small cephalopods. Penguins enjoy eating anchovies and krill, sardines, Antarctic silverside, squid, and octopus, small in size. When these sea creatures hunt, they can make nearly a thousand dives. The number of such dives depends on climatic conditions as well as species and food availability. Representatives of penguins have to drink mostly salty seawater. As a result, the animals have a surplus of salt, which is excreted through special glands that are placed above the eyes.

Fact number eight.

Males, to capture the attention of females, make loud noises, although in general, the sexual partners of males are females with whom they were mated last season. The fact is that not all males and females survive the year, so they have to look for new sexual partners. The mechanism of mate selection is quite complex and depends on the social climate and the size of the colony. In large colonies, this ritual has pronounced features, which are accompanied by visual and acoustic factor of attraction. Those penguins that live in dense vegetation behave more discreetly in order to remain invisible at all times. Penguins gather in fairly numerous colonies. Both parents take turns in incubating their eggs. The breeding process begins at a certain age, which depends on several factors, such as sex and species. Golden-haired penguins start mating at five years of age, while magnificent, donkey and subantarctic penguins are ready to mate when they reach two years of age.

Fact number nine.

Penguins do not dive into the water until they survey the coast for natural enemies. They can approach the water in small groups and wait for something, not daring to dive into the water. This can last up to half an hour. They all start diving after a brave penguin is found and dives first. As a rule, penguins live in an isolated area and being on land they are protected from many predators. This does not mean that penguins are completely defenseless: they have quite a sharp beak and powerful fins, which are quite effective weapons. Petrels suffer from the penguins if they are left unattended by their parents. There are also some species of gulls, which at the first opportunity will be able to eat the eggs of penguins. When penguins are in the waters of the ocean or seas, they are preyed upon by orcas, sharks, sea lions and harbor seals, and seals.

Fact number ten.

Penguins are the only non-flying birds in the Penguin Division today. They swim and dive beautifully, but they can’t fly at all.

On April 25th, the annual World Penguin Day is celebrated, encouraging people to remember the need to preserve the animal diversity of our planet as a whole and the diversity of its individual regions and representatives, in particular.

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