Penguin Awareness Day

Good morning all, hope everyone is doing OK. My Mum and I did a Face-time with Kim (my sister) and Baby Isaac last Thursday, it was lovely seeing them – even if it was through a computer screen – I can’t believe he’s almost 2 weeks old, he is so adorable! 😄 Not much else has happened this past week other than I cut my Mum’s hair for the first time last Saturday which turned out pretty good (she was very happy with the outcome), but other than that we’ve mostly just relaxed and watched movies.

Onto today’s post, I have always loved Penguins! They’re actually my favorite animals in the world and I wanted to do this post today to raise awareness about them as each year their numbers dwindle, so when I saw that it was Penguin awareness day, I just knew I had to write a post about them. Lets start shall we…

Penguin Awareness

Penguins are fun and interesting animals that are unique in many different ways. There are currently over 18 different known species of penguin and some of them have been around the planet for well over 65 million years. They’re a beloved animal thanks to many popular depictions in movies and children’s stories, but they’re also fascinating birds that have piqued the interest of many people all over the world. However, what most people don’t realize is that penguin numbers around the world are dwindling. Every year, the penguin population shrinks at an alarming rate and most of the world doesn’t realize this because they don’t get to see “real” penguins in their natural habitat.

Penguin Awareness Day helps to bring some reality to people’s depictions of penguins that typically come from animated films and cartoons. Penguins are often seen as laid-back animals that love to swim around, take care of their children and socialize. This is a pretty accurate representation of what penguins do on a daily basis, but it doesn’t show the environment that the penguins live in and how it’s constantly changing around them.

Penguin Awareness Day | Holiday Smart

Penguin Awareness Day is a time to celebrate and commemorate penguins, but unless we do something as a collective to help penguins thrive in the wild, there may be none left in the near future. That’s why the main focus of Penguin Awareness Day is to educate people on their situation, learn how climate change has affected them and also learn about the different species and where they live.

Penguin Awareness Day facts - Penguin Books New Zealand

Facts:

  • Penguins are one of around 40 species of flightless birds.
  • There are 17 species of penguins – 13 are endangered species, with several in danger of extinction.
  • Penguins do not have teeth. Instead they have spines on their beak and tongue to help them grip their prey.
  • Penguins can stay underwater for up to 15 minutes before needing to surface for another breath.
  • The fastest recorded speed of a penguin swimming is 22 mph! Achieved by the Gentoo Penguin, whilst other species of Penguin usually swim at around 4-7 mph.
File:Pygoscelis papua -Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium -swimming  underwater-8a.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
  • Penguin’s eyesight is terrific whilst underwater, and is better underwater than on land; even if the water is dark or murky.
  • Possibly the most commonly known fact about Penguins is that the male Penguin often incubates the eggs whilst the female Penguin hunts; sometimes for up to multiple weeks at a time! This only happens in some species of penguin and it is because the males have more fat storage, allowing them to survive multiple weeks without eating until the females return.
  • Penguins can be found in South Africa, Peru, Chile, the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Australia, and several sub-Antarctic islands.
  • In the deepest dive ever recorded by the Australian Antarctic Division, an emperor penguin reached an amazing 1,850 feet. Those huge depths require a great lung capacity; the longest-known dives have lasted 22 minutes!
  • Penguins lose all of their feathers during the two- to three-week process, and can’t swim or fish until the important insulation grows back.
The awkward state of penguin molting | Deep Sea News
  • Gentoo’s, rock-hoppers, and chinstraps especially remain monogamous. Adelie females can even find their old mates within minutes of arriving at the colony each season.
  • The unique sounds help them reunite on the breeding ground — a not-so-easy task when there are thousands of identical birds around.
  • The male penguins keep them warm under a loose fold of skin. They stay that way for months until the eggs hatch — not leaving even to eat!
  • The largest penguin colonies — called rookeries or waddles when assembled on land — include hundreds of thousands of birds.
  • Instead of shuffling across the ice, many penguins like to lay on their stomachs and propel themselves with their feet.
Emperor penguins belly-flopping out of the water, Antarctica - Bing Gallery
  • A penguin’s striking coloring is a matter of camouflage; from above, its black back blends into the murky depths of the ocean. From below, its white belly is hidden against the bright surface.
  • Fossils place the earliest penguin relative at some 60 million years ago, meaning an ancestor of the birds we see today survived the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • Penguins ingest a lot of seawater while hunting for fish, but a special gland behind their eyes—the supra-orbital gland—filters out the saltwater from their blood stream. Penguins excrete it through their beaks, or by sneezing.
  • Most penguin species are loyal to their exact nesting site and often return to the same rookery in which they were born.
  • Depending on the species, a wild penguin can live 15-20 years.
Emperor Penguins: Good dads, but less dedicated than you may have thought |  The Independent | The Independent

Ways You Can Help:

  1. Donate to a reputable conservation group that works with penguins:

Defenders of Wildlife

Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust

World Wildlife Fund

Oceana

Penguin Foundation

2. Keep the oceans clean: Use less disposable plastic, recycle whenever possible, buy organic foods to help lower the amount of fertilizer and pesticides that flow into the ocean. Make sure your car isn’t leaking oil. Never dump chemicals down storm drains.

3. Carbon Footprint: Help reduce carbon emissions to slow climate change. Dynamic changes produce rapid alterations in marine environments and within the food chains that are involved. Take action to help penguins survive by making simple changes like turning off lights when not in use or when you leave the room, or using LED light bulbs.

4. Learn more about penguins: It’s hard to help a species that you don’t know much about. And when it comes to penguins, the more you know, the more you’ll fall in love! Penguins are fascinating birds, and each species has its own unique attributes and behaviors. Researchers are constantly learning about them.

Thank you for visiting my blog! I hope you all stay safe and manage to have a good week… but for now – see you next Wednesday!

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