The Penguin Encounter

So here’s a wide angle view of the Penguin Encounter exhibit at Sea World.

It’s a chilly, snowy place!

With a fabulous pool for swimming…….

AND some nice spots to rest, when you are done swimming…..
(Personally, I’d go for the napping ledge like this little guy)

# Penguins are found only in the Southern Hemisphere.

# Penguins lost the ability to fly millions of years ago, but their powerful flipper-like wings and streamlined bodies make them very accomplished swimmers. They are the fastest swimming and deepest diving species of any birds.

# While swimming, penguins will leap above the surface of the water, a practice called porpoising. This coats their plumage with tiny bubbles that reduce friction, allowing them to swim as fast as 16 miles per hour.

# The light front and dark back of classic penguin plumage is called countershading and it provides superb camouflage from above and below to protect penguins in the water.

# Penguins are carnivores that catch all their food live in the sea. Depending on the species they can eat a variety of different marine animals, including fish, squid, shrimp, krill and other crustaceans.

# Penguins’ eyes work better underwater than they do in the air, giving them superior eyesight to spot prey while hunting, even in cloudy or murky water.

# The emperor penguin is the largest of the penguin species and can weigh up to 90 pounds. The fairy penguin is the smallest and weighs only 2 pounds.

# Penguins are social birds that form breeding colonies numbering in the tens of thousands. They may use the same nesting grounds for thousands of years, and colonies of larger birds can number in the millions.

# Emperor penguins and king penguins do not make nests. Instead, a single egg for each mated pair is incubated on a parent’s feet and kept warm by a flap of skin called a brood pouch.

# Emperor penguin males will incubate their eggs for two months in the winter without eating while the females are at sea. During that time, they live off their fat reserves and may lose half their body weight. When the females return shortly after the chicks hatch, they switch parental duties and the females fast.

# Depending on the species, a wild penguin can live 15-20 years. During that time, they spend up to 75 percent of their lives at sea.

# Penguins have many natural predators depending on their habitat, including leopard seals, sea lions, orcas, snakes, sharks and foxes. Artificial threats are also a problem for penguins, including oil spills and other pollution, global warming that changes the distribution of food sources and illegal poaching and egg harvesting.

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