Top 10 Penguin Facts To Flip Over

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6. The multiple roles of their plumage


If penguins didn’t have their specific, some say tuxedo-like plumage, then porpoising would not be possible especially at the impressive speed of 32 kmh. To put it simply, the plumage tends to develop tiny bubbles while they are swimming, thus protecting their bodies from friction damage. In addition to increasing their swimming speed, the light and dark contrasts of the feathers helps the penguin benefit from a double camouflage, namely the dark side makes them invisible to predators above, while the light side shades them from the ones found in the water.


7. The yellow-eyed penguin is almost extinct

yellow-eyed penguin

Besides the alarming decline of the birds numbers and authorizes attempts to protect them, some species of penguins – such as the yellow-eyed penguin – are currently risking extinction. As a matter of fact, the population of yellow-eyes typically living on the shores of New Zealand has decreased to the point where there are only 4,000 of these penguins left. The good news is that the local authorities have already taken the necessary steps to help the conservation of this species of penguins by building them two natural reservations in the mainland areas. Furthermore, in 2010 the yellow-eyes penguins have received protection under the United States Endanger Species Act.


8. Human intervention is both positive and negative


While penguins have various natural predators according to their habits and geographical location, it is necessary to point out that the increasing artificial threats have also begun to affect the penguins more than usual. From global warming that melts down the ice patches certain species of penguins need to mate, lay eggs and raise chicks to oil spills and water pollution, human expansion in these birds’ natural habits became a serious problem.

Luckily, most of the penguins are receptive and adapt quickly to natural reservations and conservation centers. Unfortunately, even though people try to help conserve the specie, penguins do not possess an efficient biological defense mechanism to survive in other areas than their natural environment. This is the main reason why many of them die so quickly in zoos across the world.


9. Penguins are not sexually dimorphic


More often than not, any person with a trained eye could determine whether the bird flying right above your head is a female or a male based on the plumage and morphology. However, this is not the case for male and female penguins, as the two genders basically look the same. The only exception is during the mating seasons when you could distinguish a male from a female depending on how much mud it has on its plumage.


10. Penguins have a sharp vision

Penguin - sharp vision

Since the penguin’s diet consists mostly on what they catch in the sea, it was only natural for them to evolve superior eyesight that would permit them to spot their prey easily underwater, irrespective of whether the water is clear or not.

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