Penguins

Parts of a Penguin

Penguins are special animals that have many features that help them swim.


Body Shape


One feature is there body shape. It's meant to cut through water like a bullet. Their body shape is very unique it supposed to be shaped like a torpedoed this helps them swim faster.


Feet and tail


The feet and tail have big part in how the penguin swims. They have webbed feet that are very strong. Penguins have a stubby tail. They use their feet and tail to steer. Without the feet and tail penguins would steer into trouble.


Feathers


Did you know penguin feathers are waterproof? The waterproof feathers help them stay warm. Also the put a special oil on their feathers to keep them water proof.If penguins don't take good care of their feathers they won't be waterproof. To keep them clean penguins take several hours a day caring for their feathers. Without feathers penguins would freeze.


Speed


If penguins didn't have all these features they wouldn't be able to go as fast. Swimmer penguins can go about eight miles per hour. Also in short periods of time they can go three times that speed. With this speed the seals will never get them.

Life Cycle

Egg


Penguins travel hundreds of miles to get to the colony so they can mate. First comes the egg then the chick and finally an adult. Once they are finished mating they lay the egg, Most of the time penguins lay two eggs but King and Emperor Penguins mostly lay one egg. If the egg is going to hatch is needs warmth and time. Most penguins sit or lay on their eggs to keep it warm but, Kind and Emperor penguins have a special fold in their feet to keep the egg warm. For penguins, the egg usually takes 30 or more day to hatch although King and Emperor Penguin usually takes 60 days or more.


Chick


The chick is a very fragile animal. When they are born they don't look like their parents but, over time they loose their baby feathers and grow new adult feathers. Parents must protect their chicks and feed them. Chicks can't just eat the fish, the parents have to chew it first then give it to the chicks. Also, some chicks stay at their nest for only 2 months while others stay for a year. When penguins are old enough they leave the nest to molt and nest.


Adult


When the penguins are old enough they leave. Did you know not all penguins have black and white feathers? Also, when they are about 50 days old they are about the size of their parents. At that age there parents start only catching food for themselves and leave their son or daughter to catch food for themselves.

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Penguins Vs. Flight Birds

You my know that penguins can't fly but do you know how different these birds really are from those that can fly?


Penguins and birds that can fly


Although all birds have wings, they don't all use them to fly. The reason penguins can't fly is because penguin wings aren't big enough to make them fly. If you ever saw a blue jay or a red robin you would see that their wings are almost as big as their body. Also penguins most likly live in a much colder climate than birds that due fly. Birds that can fly migrate south when it gets cold because they need the warm weather. One big reason penguins can't fly is because penguins have sold bones. Other birds that can fly have hollow bones. This makes them lighter so when they fly they are carrying less weight. Lastly, penguins have much bigger bodies then a bird that can fly.

Will the Seal get the Penguin?

When Penguins go to lay their eggs they have to be very careful where they lay their eggs. If they lay their eggs on the outside of the colony, it is most likely to be eaten by a seal. Most seals only eat the the eggs and chicks , they do not eat the adults because it is to hard to chase them. This terrible problem is being fixed by the penguins themselves. These smart penguins figured out that if they lay their eggs on the outside of the colony, their eggs are most likely to be eaten by the seals so, now penguins lay their eggs in the center of the colony where the seals can't get them. These smart animals don't even need our help, they do it on there own.

Why are Penguins becoming Endangered

Penguins are dying from oil spills. Also they are dying from people fishing to much and taking the penguins food. Another reason penguins are becoming endangered is because lion seals are taking their eggs and their habitats are being destroyed so they can't reproduce. The biggest problem is the climate change, global warming is destroying these helpless birds.


You can help save penguins by helping to prevent global warming. One way to do this is to walk or ride a bike if it is not necessary to use a car. The pollution that comes from all the cars is killing penguins. Also, people need to stop over-fishing because there's not enough fish for all the penguins to eat. Did you know penguins reuse their old feathers to make their nests? If they can resuse I think you can too!

ShamuTV: Penguins – Person To Penguin Connection