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The Penguin

Classic Collection Of Penguin Images

Though the penguin is a bird that can be recognized by almost everyone, there are many of us who might never see a real penguin all our lives. If some of these people are lucky they might get a glimpse of a real life penguin probably in a zoo. Kaisilver has put together some stunning penguin images, we are grateful to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for making these awesome images for everyone to see. Do enjoy yourself and pass on the link to your friends if you feel that this content might interest them.

There is an interesting thing about the name, penguin. There is a large flightless bird with a black and white color - it is today referred to as the Great Auk. This bird was never seen after 1844 and has become extinct. The Great Auk was originally given the name, Penguin. Explorers later discovered another bird with black and white colors on it's body - this description was quite similar to the great auk, they called these newly spotted birds penguins too. This is how the penguin got it's name and probably is also the reason why, the Great Auk needed a change of name from penguin to great auk!

penguins appear to kiss

These penguins appear to be kissing each other. The spectacular image of the birds is all the more attractive because of the natural surroundings that the penguins have been photographed.  

The above penguin image has been taken in the natural surroundings in which the bird is found. The blue icey surface and the snow capped peaks in the background help create a truly captivating scene. The two penguins seem to be kissing each other, if you observe carefully you might get the impression that they have actually fallen asleep on each others shoulders. Penguins ofcourse have no problem with the cold conditions, just as fish feel perfectly comfortable in the water.

Penguins have a high density of overlapping feathers, more feathers than most other bird. There are around 70 feathers per square inch on the penguins body. Not all the feathers on the bird are of equal size of shape, short, wide, fat and narrow feathers combine to keep the bird from getting wet. This ensures that the skin of the penguin does not get wet. While most penguins shed their entire set of feathers to grow a new set each year, the Galapagos penguin molts (sheds it's feathers) twice a year.

penguin chicks, gentoo penguins

Baby gentoo penguins among the weather worn rocks. The color of the exposed backs of these penguins blends well with the surrounding rocks.

As most of us are aware, penguins do not fly but they can swim. What not many people do not know is that, larger penguins generally swim faster than smaller ones. Some penguins can swim faster than the best human swimmer - examples are the gentoo penguins and the black footed penguins. The interesting thing is that when a penguin gets into the water, the intricately arranged layers of feathers prevent the water from passing through and touching it's skin.

We would like to clarify something about penguins being airborne when in the water. A penguin basically leaps out of the water, takes a quick gulp of air and dives back inside the water. This act is like a leap and is not similar to flying, there are no penguin species that can fly - at least not known to man until today.

penguins standing in antartica
A group of penguins standing in a neat formation, photograph taken in antartica. The intent gaze of the penguin often leads to nowhere. In most cases the staring penguins seem to be gazing at the vast expanse of snow and ice.

These penguins seem to be standing quite comfortable in the freezing cold temperature. It is interesting to know that penguins are warm blooded much like human beings, their body temperature measures around 100 degrees Farenheit. There is an inbuilt mechanism that helps the penguin stay warm, it does not like freezing temperatures. You might have heard that whales have a layer of fat under their skin, the same is true of penguins too. This fat is called 'blubber' and helps in the temperature control process that is required to keep the penguin warm. We already mentioned that there are several layers of feathers that cover the skin of the pendant. These feathers are of different lengths and widths.

It is common for a person feeling cold to stand stiff with hands closely held on the side, that oooh it's freezing cold pose! Penguins often do a similar act to keep themselves warm. They stand close to each other in large groups and hold their wings tightly to their sides. Explorers report having seen more than a thousand penguins standing together in this position, trying to keep themselves warm.

penguin diving into the freezing cold waters
A huge penguin jumps into the freezing waters. The birds obviously are very comfortable in the freezing cold temperatures. When penguins find the top of the water to be frozen, they move around the sheets of ice looking for a place where they can squeeze and enter the waters below.

We just mentioned above that penguins can swim, they can also dive and stay under the water for quite some time. But one interesting thing about penguins and water is that, they cannot breathe under water. Penguins can be seeing leaping out of the water and then diving right back in. Some people mistake this movement for the bird flying, penguins cannot fly. What they really do when they pop out of the water and leap up is to fill their lungs with air. Having done this, the penguin can hold it's breathe for fairly long and therefore remains under the water as it swims.

penguins waiting to dive into the ocean through hole in ice
The frozen waters can have 1 to 3 feet of ice on the top. Here a group of penguins await their turn to dive into the ocean. The waters below can be accessed only through such gaps or holes in the frozen ice.

Penguins have a life span of around 20 years though certain large penguins have been known to live almost double that. Some smaller penguins have a life span of just 8 to 12 years, this is about half the lifespan of a large penguin. Many of types of penguins have become extinct, some others are at a critical stage and we could lose them forever. Certain species of penguins seem to adapt very well to their changing surroundings and have grown their population to impressive numbers. Fortunately penguins grown in captivity show little sign of stress and strain and breed freely too. This might be one way to increase the numbers of penguins that are becoming rare.

Most of the penguins can be found in the Antartica region. This Kaisilver report has been prepared as a general source of information for everyone. It is a continued effort to bring quality articles related to leisure and travel. Your continued support and encouragement has motivated us to create an online resource that is informative, relaxing and interesting. Do pass the link of this web page to your friends and collegues if you feel that the content will be of interest or use to them.

The above images have been taken from the NSF - National Science Foundation. The Foundation does not in any way, sponsor or endorse the merchandise shown on this web page or web site. We are grateful to the NSF for allowing the use of their images on our website.


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