As you may already know, I am a huge hockey fan. My favorite team is the Pittsburgh Penguins. And while I am still a bit sad over their early exit from the NHL playoffs this year, I was very happy to see that April 25th was World Penguin Day! My love of the Penguins came before my love of penguins. I went to my first hockey game when I was 9, but didn't start collecting penguins until I was a teenager. My collections has grown through the years, but it is still in boxes in my garage, even though we have been in our house almost four years. I'm still working on a permanent space for them in my home.
Many people think of an Emperor penguin, like in The March Of The Penguins, when they think of penguins (if they think of them at all!). But, in fact, there are 17 different types of penguins:
- Snares crested
- Little Blue
These birds (and they are birds) are only found in the Southern Hemisphere, although most of them do not live at the South Pole. (The Galapagos penguin actually lives off the coast of South America near the equator.) They range in size from the largest, Emperor, which stands about four feet, to the smallest, Little Blue, which stands about 1 foot.
Penguins are excellent swimmers, which is why they lost the ability to fly millions of years ago. They spend most of their time in the water and usually come back to land only for mating season. Most penguins do mate for life, or at least for many seasons, as most people have heard. And both the male and the female take part in the incubation and the first two to 12 months of their chick's life. Once the chick is ready to be on its own, the adult penguins are off to the oceans to stock up on food to sustain them until the next mating season.
It's hard for me to say why I exactly love penguins -- other than it started as a teenage girl thinking they were cute, but now has grown into a respect for an animal that lives in a very harsh environment and continues to survive even when the odds are against them.
Penguin by Frans Lanting
My Season With Penguins: An Antarctic Journal by Sophie Webb
Penguins by Roger Tory Peterson
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
March Of The Penguins (2005)
Nature: Penguins (2007)
Frozen Planet (2012)
The Penguins of Madagascar (2010)
Surf's Up (2007)
Happy Feet (2007)
And in honor of my favorite penguin:
Also, if you have nothing better to do, watch this!
-- Post by Tracy