Posts

Showing posts from October, 2012

Penguins

Image
By Kate Crowley Who doesn’t love penguins?  They defy our definition or image of a bird, since their wings are not used for flight, but as flippers in their watery world.  And they walk upright with an endearing wobble, using flippers and tails for balance.  We grow up with images of penguins sitting on ice floes next to polar bears and Santa Claus, but in fact they are not even a northern hemisphere bird, with the one exception of the Galapagos Penguins.  The reason they are found on the Galapagos Islands is because currents flow up that way from the cold Southern oceans.  All penguins need a cold water environment. This is where the richest fishing stocks are found.  To survive in those frigid waters they are helped by a layer of insulating air that is trapped in their feathers, which also gives them buoyancy. I have been entertained and captivated by all the recent penguin films from the animated Happy Feet and Surf’s Up, tothe TV show, The Penguins of Madagascar (my favorite), a…