It’s no big secret that I think penguins are pretty cool. So I want to tell you some of my favorite penguin factoids. To be honest, mostly because lists are pretty easy to do (dixit the lazy blogger) and I did most of the research for this while tweeting for the Science For Progress RoCur (lazy blogger, remember?). Anyway, despite my evident laziness, penguins are actually awesome, and here are some reasons why:
Factoid number one:
Penguins have an amazing sense of style. They always look like they’re dressed for a party, rockin’ the tux look.
There are 26 “types” of penguins (due to the fact that a lot of types are geographically isolated from each other, it is not clear how many species there are). The largest type of penguin is the Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri – extra fact: Emperor penguins are the only bird species that never set foot on land!) The smallest penguins are little penguins (who would have guessed), including Eudyptula minor minor, in case you want to emphasize how tiny they are.
My favorite penguin, however, is the Macaroni penguin because they have the best. featherdo. ever. They kind of look like Einstein had a hair-coloring accident but decided to go out in a tux anyway. They get their name from 18th century English men who wore feather-adorned hats that were known as “Macaronis”.
Factoid numero trois:
A nest of penguin eggs in called a clutch.
Most penguin species are pretty good parents. Often, both parents take turns incubating the eggs. In some species, daycares are organized so some birds can go hunting while others take care of the fluffs.
While on parenthood, there are a number of examples of same-sex penguin couples taking very good care of penguins babies. Makes me wonder if they occur in nature. Perhaps they occur but don’t last when the couple realizes they can’t have any eggs. The examples are anecdotal in zoos, where the couple either gets an egg from the handlers or goes stealing eggs. Anyhow, there are plenty of examples from all over the world, including New York, Edinburgh, Sydney, and Denmark.
Walking like a penguin is a pretty efficient way to walk on ice without falling on your butt. And I’m a walking hazard without the ice. Also, my butt is higher up and has fewer feathers for cushioning. (#TMI)
I’ll leave you with this amazing video of a brave little Adélie penguin that went viral a few weeks ago:
Shoutout to my follower @drpenguinone for obvious reasons.
Edit: I’ve added links to this amazing video because I can and it’s hilarious.