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Saturday, December 30, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
What’s black and white and cool all over? I-CY, the performing penguin! This waddling wonder loves to dive into music: rock, punk, rap, hip-hop, dance, techno, and more.
Watch I-CY flap its flippers to your tunes, and make it happy with lots of music and interaction! I-CY communicates moods through musical riffs, movement and tons of blinking light patterns! It even squawks to let you know when it needs more attention! I-CY loves to move and groove to your music, but watch out – flick its tail, and it won’t be happy! Plug in and chill out with I-CY!
Coming March 2007
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Real penguins don't have time for dancing and singing.
So what would life be like for a real-life Mumble the Penguin, the star of the recent movie "Happy Feet"?
"The real emperor penguins live in the harshest of environments, and although they are in many ways marvelously adapted to surviving there, they still do have it tough, particularly the young ones," said Barbara Wienecke, an Australian scientist who has been fascinated by penguins all her life.
Finding food, staying warm and raising families - none of these is easy for penguins.
It doesn't take singing or dancing, but finding a mate is hard work, too. Emperor penguins go courting by calling (they make a trumpet-like sound), head circling and bowing, said Tom Schneider, curator of birds at the Detroit Zoo.
Once a pair clicks, they take great care of their chicks.
"Very young chicks, when they are still being brooded, or guarded by their parents, can have an air of contentment about them when they are warm and well-fed and the sun is shining," Wienecke said. "It is absolutely beautiful to see the little guys with full tummies lean back against mum or dad, eyes half closed, little toes lifted off the ice and occasionally glancing up to make sure that mum or dad are still there."
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
An anonymous donor has given $6 million to Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo to help build a new penguin exhibit and zoo entrance.
Zoo spokeswoman Wendy Hochnadel said the donation was the largest in the zoo's history. The money was earmarked for the Humboldt penguin exhibit, which will house 10 breeding pairs of the endangered animal.
Zoo President and CEO Dr. Deborah Jensen said the new exhibit will include beaches and rocky tide pools, and that guests will be able to see the penguins swim underwater.
"This gift demonstrates how cherished the zoo is by our community and underscores the importance of the zoo's efforts to educate our visitors about conservation and how each and every person can make a difference," Jensen said.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Rockhopper penguins, a type featured in the movie "Happy Feet," have suffered a mysterious 30 percent decline in numbers over five years in their South Atlantic stronghold, conservationists said on Friday.
The number of pairs of the small yellow-crested penguins in Britain`s Falkland Islands fell to 210,418 pairs in 2005-06 from 298,496 in 2000, perhaps because of climate change, a survey by Falklands Conservation said.
Figures from 1932 suggested that there were 1.5 million pairs at the time, giving an 85 percent fall in the species` main habitat, it said. Smaller colonies live in Chile, Argentina and on southern islands.
"The decline of the Rockhopper penguin in the Falkland Islands suggests a massive shift in the ecology of the southern Ocean, perhaps linked to climate change," said Geoff Hilton, a biologist at Britain`s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). "We don`t really know what is going wrong."
Other types of penguin on the islands have not suffered such a steep decline and have recovered from a poisonous form or algae that bloomed in the South Atlantic in 2002-03, killing many penguins.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Robben Island's rocky, wind-swept shores and the Atlantic's expanses were intimidating for a penguin after weeks of pens and pools.
So, when dozens of the birds abandoned as chicks by their parents and raised by humans were released back into the wild on Wednesday, most at first huddled nervously together in the frigid waters. One even tried to jump back into the cardboard box in which it had been carried to the island. But they rapidly grew used to freedom and swam off.
Jardine's South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, which rescued 800 chicks in October, took about 60 of the birds to the waters around Robben Island, Nelson Mandela's former prison and now home to a large colony of African penguins.
Most of the others were already back in the sea as part of a drive by the conservation group to boost fragile populations of the bird, whose survival is threatened by oil spills and dwindling fish stocks.
On Tuesday, the penguins were taken to the island on a tourist boat and released with little ceremony three at a time from cardboard boxes.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
"Frigid and glacial, with powerful blasts of icy wind, Antarctica is no place for warm, cuddly creatures. Or so it would seem.
Yet Antarctica is home to vast penguin colonies - the wonderfully humanoid birds that define "warm and cuddly." While journeying to Antarctica, I have been privileged to photograph eight species of penguins, seven of which are portrayed here.
I consider my Antarctica travels a high point of my life. As you view my pictures and read my stories, I hope that you can share the sense of wonder I feel for these creatures and the wondrous place they call home."
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
PENGUIN numbers at Warrnambool's Middle Island have tripled after a world-first trial in which a Maremma guard dog was placed on the island to protect the penguins during their breeding season.
The dog swam off the island on Wednesday after becoming homesick, but she had already played a large part in helping the little penguins survive.
A recent count showed 70 penguins had visited the island this year and it was believed there were about 20 chicks.
Last year only 27 were counted.
Owner of the Maremma dog, Allan Marsh, said he didn't believe foxes had been anywhere near the island since his dog, Oddball, arrived there a month ago.
He said foxes were after an easy feed and would stear clear of an area where they could smell a threat like Oddball.
The blue-footed booby and 39 other animals, each unique in its own way, are available for adoption through World Wildlife Fund's symbolic animal adoption program, which allows gift-givers to adopt an animal in honor of a friend, colleague or loved one. Adoption levels range in price from $25 to $250 and for the month of December, all adoptions of $50 or more will get free priority shipping. Blue-footed boobies shown here with the blue-footed booby plush, available with an adoption of $50 or more at www.worldwildlife.org/gifts or 800-CALL-WWF.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Emperor penguins are hawking batteries in commercials with Duracell-powered "penguin cams" strapped to their backs, and, in a Capital One TV spot, they surround a shivering couple vacationing in Antarctica because their credit card miles program blacked out flights to warm resort locales.
Penguins also are strutting on packaging for Minute Made lemonade, Entenmanns gingerbread cookie and more, and on Web site banners, such as at the Mystery Guild book club. Hallmark is offering a discount, with the purchase of greeting cards, on its animated penguins-decorating-a-tree decoration.
And Coca Cola has resurrected its ad showing penguins making friends with polar bears (never mind that they live in different hemispheres) by offering them a Coke.
According to ad monitors TNS Media Intelligence, penguins also are in ads for two vehicles, the Jeep Commander and Honda Element, plus Canon cameras, Credit Union One, Creekside Fitness & Health Center, Kids Cuisine Frozen Dinners, Whirlpool washers, Starbucks iced coffee and Dawn dish soap _ showing real penguins being cleaned with it after an oil slick.
What's behind all this?
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Silver Spring had the penguin craze down long before ‘‘Happy Feet” came along.
While penguins have become quite popular following the release of a movie about the flightless birds who find their soul mate through song — and for one little guy who can’t sing and dance — Silver Spring’s ‘‘unofficial mascot” has been two-stepping through the downtown for years.
So long, in fact, that the black-and-white bird can be seen on street corners, in the library, in Borders Books and Music, and by the Metro station, and no one really questions its presence.
All 15 of the African blackfooted penguins at the Georgia Aquarium are safely accounted for.
It's important to say that up front because, if you believe rumors circulating in the midstate, one of the little tuxedoed fellows was supposedly birdnapped in recent weeks by a student from West Laurens High School.
In fact, in a plot worthy of Oswald Cobblepot (aka The Penguin from the Batman comics), the case of the purloined penguin has been floating around for the past decade or so from virtually any city with a zoo or an aquarium. It's a fish tale starring aquatic birds.
hose who come to McMurdo Station, the biggest U.S. science base in Antarctica, often dream of seeing the regal Emperor penguins or the smaller Adelies, but environmental policies require humans let the birds make the first move, and keep their distance in any case.
"If the animals are reacting to you, you're too close," is the general rule.
But sometimes penguins' curiosity brings them into close proximity with humans who are out in the penguin stomping ground, foraging for scientific data while the birds are foraging for food.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Stewart Island's yellow-eyed penguin chick population has been decimated after the worst breeding season on record saw just one chick out of 32 survive.
Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust spokesperson Sue Murray says the disastrous season highlights the need for more research, but with funding set to stop next year, the programme's future and that of the island's penguin population hangs in the balance.
This is your Penguin Overlord, Ro. My main goal in life is to eat fish, and take over the world, but when I'm not busy doing either of them, I make comics about daily life in the arctic.
I'm going to try to have a new comic every Sunday or Monday, but no promises (world domination does take up a lot of my time).
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
This project provides 'executables' that enable you to make your own soft-toy Linux® penguin. To put it straight: You can find sewing patterns and a community to sew your own soft toy or stuffed Linux® Tux penguin here.
Saturday, December 9, 2006
Friday, December 8, 2006
What's up with all these penguin movies?
Sure, penguins appear cute on the screen, real or animated. But zoo personnel don't always find them that cute. Rick Yazzolino, a penguin keeper at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, said they bite hard and use their stumpy flippers to slap around anyone who annoys them.
``I've been bitten hundreds of times,'' he said. ``There's not a day that goes by I don't go home without a wound, a sore or cut on my hands.''
One more thing, he said: They don't sing or tap dance.
So what is it about cinematic penguins that makes them more attractive than most other animals?
George Miller, who directed ``Happy Feet,'' said the birds' anthropomorphic qualities, like the way they walk, account for much of their popularity. Also, he said, ``only in the last decade or so has there been serious documentary footage out of Antarctica. It's tough to get around Antarctica.''
Gil Myers, an area supervisor for penguins at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, where penguins remain one of the major attractions, said they also benefit from a growing public awareness that global warming and overfishing are threatening the habitats of some species, a major theme in ``Happy Feet.''
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Police patrolled Sydney's endangered penguins last night, searching for clues to the thugs who destroyed eggs and damaged nesting boxes.
Manly residents also rallied around the endangered community living beside their homes – and in some cases wandering around their backyards – vowing to fight for the penguins' survival at any cost.
"If I ever found someone down there harassing them, I would kill them, that's how passionate we are about them," Garry, who lives next to the colony, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.
They call the little guy "Samson," but the zookeepers know that might have to change.
That's because no one knows whether the Memphis Zoo's penguin chick, hatched just a little over a month ago, is a boy or a girl.
Penguins, you see, have no external reproductive organs, so the only way you can tell if it's a "Mr." or a "Ms." is to do a blood test -- or wait for an egg.
So for now, the three baby penguins at the zoo -- Samson is joined by Dee Dee, 18 days old, and Liam, 14 days -- will keep their given names.
In April, the beginning of winter in the Antarctic, emperor penguins travel from the pack ice out at sea to the colony site for courtship and breeding. The trip is estimated to be hundreds of kilometers, and researchers are unsure how the penguins find their way.
By early June, the female lays an egg. The female penguin transfers the egg to the male, which will incubate the egg for 60 to 65 days, while fasting. Females usually weigh about 65 pounds, while males are about 25 pounds heavier. Because the females are smaller, they can't fast as long as the males, so once the eggs are laid, the females must return to the sea to eat, he says. When the female returns, the chick hatches.
It might look like the life of luxury, being hand-fed fresh fish and living in cosy accommodation on a health farm with a swimming pool, but these waddling wonders are getting some much needed R&R before returning to the wild.
Phillip Island Nature Parks penguin hospital treats an average of 140 of the island's tiny inhabitants a year for conditions ranging from starvation to boat propeller injuries.
However oil spills can see the number of penguin casualties top 500.
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Flippin' Penguins is a fabulously silly game where players must launch hat-wearing penguins onto a wobbly revolving iceberg. It sounds silly and it is. But it's also seriously entertaining in a way that only games this infantile can be.
Most companies would be overjoyed to have their product in "Happy Feet," the nation's most popular film.
But Itasca-based ITW Hi-Cone, the industry leader and inventor of plastic six-pack rings, isn't happy over the use of its "yokes" in the new cartoon film. Hi-Cone is calling "misleading and irresponsible'' a story line involving a penguin who nearly is strangled after he gets one of the binders caught around his throat.
Hi-Cone Vice President and General Manager Steve Henn says Warner Bros. Entertainment "didn't do its homework,'' and the company is asking moviemakers to clarify the depiction of the rings in upcoming DVD releases.
Henn acknowledges that wildlife can get stuck in the yokes. The Ocean Conservancy environmental group reports that international coastal cleanups since 2000 have turned up 191,789 six-pack rings. In that same time period, 894 fish and birds have been discovered entangled in man-made debris, though fishing line is the top offender.
But since 1989, under federal law, six-pack rings have been 100 percent photodegradeable -- they disintegrate in sunlight, beginning in just a few days, Henn said. Creatures overwhelmingly escape from weakened and brittle rings, he said: "A penguin couldn't wear it that long'' because it would crumble.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
MAKE A PENGUIN
WHAT YOU NEED
• One film canister
• Two googly eyes
• Orange and white craft foam
• Glue gun
WHAT TO DO
1. Remove the cap and turn the canister upside down. Glue on the googly eyes near the top.
2. Cut a small oval out of the white craft foam and cut out the beak and feet from the orange foam.
3. Glue on the beak, the belly and the feet as shown.
4. Cut the cap of the canister in half to form wings. Glue them on the sides.
(found at: Yakking about Penguins)
With the exclusive Penguin Place wedding cake topper, you can now celebrate your nuptials the way you were meant to as you waddle down the aisle. Two hand painted and decorated ceramic penguins stand atop of the pedestal this lovely and delicate five inch tall cake topper. The dashing groom sports a top hat and bow tie, while the lovely bride wears a classic white veil on her head. This piece can only be described as cute, cool, classy and original. What wedding could ask for more.
Many more penguin themed gifts and fun penguin items at the Penguin Place Shopping Igloo.
Monday, December 4, 2006
Rob Curley posts a picture of a penguin at the top of his blog.
Curley says, "I’ve always loved penguins.I relate to them. You see, I’m not the most dapper-looking dude. I’m kind of a dork. And penguins are total dorks.They look funny. I look funny. They walk funny. I walk funny.
They swim fast. I walk funny.
So, I collect everything I can that’s a penguin. They make me smile."
Are penguins "dorks?"
No way, Jose!
Yes, penguins do exist on the equator! The Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is the most northerly occurring of all the penguins. Endemic to the islands at approximately 14 inches in height it is smaller and more duck-like than its southern cousins of the Antarctic.
Sunday, December 3, 2006
Saturday, December 2, 2006
Friday, December 1, 2006
The National Aviary in Pittsburgh offers the daily "Penguin Connection" program, which allows guests to play with and touch the birds.This new program, where guests sit in a circle as a penguin walks freely among the group, provides a unique face-to-beak encounter. The penguin trainer will describe what it takes to care for these birds, from natural history to medical care.
The program plays directly into the current national penguin fever. The daily meet-and-greets quickly began selling out for November and December, so the aviary added a morning time slot during some of the busier weekends, "and those are close to selling out as well," said Nicole Begley, supervisor of animal programs at the aviary. For $40, a maximum of six people can register for the one-hour program offered from 3-4 p.m. daily.
Twelve of the world's 19 species of penguins may be marching toward extinction if the U.S. government doesn't put them under the wing of the Endangered Species Act, argues the petition prepared by the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, a national group with a branch in San Francisco.
"The same thing could happen to the emperor and Adelie penguins as is happening to the polar bear in the Arctic," Bay Area marine biologist David Ainley said Thursday, speaking from Ross Island off Antarctica about two species that live on sea ice. "They don't exist if there is no sea ice.''
The government must limit industrial fishing in the Antarctic Ocean to preserve the penguins' food supply as well as control emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere that lead to warming of oceans, which melts their sea ice home, the petition says.