Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Spheniscidae - Penguins

This site is a great resource for information about penguins.

There are 17 species of penguin all of which have a southerly distribution ranging from the Antarctic itself to the Galapagos Islands. Only two species, Emperor and Adelie, have entirely Antarctic distributions. The rest live more northerly lives to varying degrees, 5 species being sub-antarctic, 6 southern temperate and 4 sub-tropical. Though one species, the Galapagos Penguin (currently the rarest species), lives in the equatorial band it is protected to some extent form the heat by the cold Antarctic currents which bath the islands. No species has crossed the warm tropical waters to colonise the northern hemisphere. Penguins are highly adapted to marine life and some species spend up to 80% of their life at sea.

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