Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
There was no checkered flag for Disney and Pixar this year as Cars was upset by Warner Bros.’ Happy Feet, which snagged the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Sunday night at the 79th Annual Academy Awards. Many expected the night to be a victory lap for director John Lasseter's Cars, which has had a successful awards season run that resulted in top toon awards at the Golden Globes, the Annies and the People’s Choice Awards, among others. Disney fared better on the visual effects side as Industrial Light & Magic as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest plundered Oscar gold for visual effects.
As a testament to how important animation has become in Hollywood, the Oscar broadcast started off with an animated segment that featured a group of penguin characters from Happy Feet sending Mumbles off to Tinsel Town for the big night. In his travels to sunny California, Mumbles even came across Lightning McQueen, the Owen Wilson character from Cars.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
In the Oscar-nominated animated feature film "Happy Feet," Emperor penguins express their love with a song.
Thursday morning, King penguin Scout and Gentoo penguin Gilbert at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden expressed their love for our yearly Oscar picks with sounds that would make Abigail Breslin's "Little Miss Sunshine" pageant contestant jealous.
This is the second year the Herald-Journal has asked for the assistance of the penguins in our Oscar picks. Last year, they knew "March of the Penguins" would march away with the Oscar for Best Documentary.
We decided to seek their advice since "Happy Feet," which has a cool environmental message, is nominated for Best Animated Feature against "Cars" and "Monster House."
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
MAREMMA guard dogs will protect Middle Island's penguin colony from extinction for another year, with the area to again be off-limits for visitors.
Warrnambool City Council last night deemed the initial four-week trial to ward off predators a success and will send the dogs back to the island in May.
The council also agreed to explore the trial's research possibilities, believing valuable data could be gained from the world-first initiative.
``This is potentially a very significant project. I think we might not realise its significance for Victoria, Australia and the world,'' Cr Jacinta Ermacora told the council. The island's fairy penguin population has fallen to less than 100 in recent
years due to foxes and dogs.
Short-tailed shearwater numbers have similarly been impacted by the unwanted predators.
A report prepared for the council found the dog's presence during its 27-day stay on the island late last year deterred foxes, while having minimal impact on the penguins.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
While much of Antarctica has cooled over the past decade, a warming trend in the Antarctic Peninsula may indicate what the future holds for the rest of the icy continent's wildlife. Researchers at Ohio State University say that higher temperatures have already forced penguin populations to migrate south and may have reduced the availability of krill that serve as the based of the Antarctic food chain.
"We're already seeing the marine ecosystems respond dramatically to increases in temperatures along the Antarctic Peninsula," said Berry Lyons, professor in the School of Earth Sciences and director of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. "Researchers are seeing the movement of penguin populations southward down the peninsula as sea ice lessens along its margins," Lyons said. "Gentoo and chinstrap penguins are shifting south into areas now populated by adelie penguins, and the adelies are being forced further south, all because of the change in sea ice."
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
It has long been a source of wonder to nature watchers. As huge throngs of seemingly identical penguins crowd the South Atlantic shoreline, birds returning from long fishing trips can unerringly pick out their relatives in the midst of what sounds like bedlam.
Now scientists have discovered that, against all odds, penguins can recognise their significant other by their individual call.
During the research, reported in the journal Animal Behavior, calls made by individual penguins were recorded and then played back to them to see who recognised what. The birds succeeded in identifying their mates, a particularly important ability because penguins share parenting and must be able to find one another quickly when they have been away at sea searching for food.
The research also shows that chicks can home in on the calls of their parents, and ignore the noises being made by other birds. Chicks often wander off when the parents are away and need to recognise calls when they get back to the nest. If they approach adults that are not their parents, they may be subject to a physical attack.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
New Zealand gave warning of a possible environmental disaster in the Antarctic today after the flagship of the Japanese whaling fleet caught fire in the sea off the world's largest penguin breeding site.
The blaze on board the Nisshin Maru, the so-called "mother ship" that travels with Japan's whale-hunting vessels, is under control, according to New Zealand's Conservation Minister, but there is still danger that some of the 1.3 million litres of oil on board will leak into the otherwise clean southern seas.
The ship is adrift around 110 miles (174km) south west of Cape Adare on the Ross Sea coast of the Antarctic: where around 250,000 pairs of penguins gather to breed each year. It is 267 miles (429km) north of the American McMurdo base, the largest in Antarctica, which is set amongst colonies of skua, emperor and adlie penguins.
"It is a serious situation ... a ship badly damaged and full of toxic oil," Chris Carter told New Zealand's National Radio after a news conference in Wellington.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
More than 9,000 people voted online through denverzoo.org to pick the name. "Tux" was the winner with 39 percent of the votes.
Usually when a baby arrives at the Denver Zoo, someone at the zoo gets the privilege of naming the animal. This time around the zoo decided to do things a little differently.
More than 600 people submitted name suggestions to cbs4denver.com last month. Users were then able to vote for the most popular suggestion to our Web site. CBS4 forwarded that name to Denver Zoo and it competed against the other media suggestions.
The name "Tux" beat out the other two suggestions of "Dassen" and "Shivers."
The male penguin hatched at the zoo on Oct. 18. He will be wearing a yellow arm band for easy identification.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Even though their wings are useless for venturing into the sky, don’t feel sorry for the penguin. They spend a majority of their time “flying” through the water sometimes at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. A penguin’s body is streamlined for zooming through the water - the flippers providing the speed, the feet and tail used for steering and braking. Not only are they great at maneuvering underwater, some penguins species are like tiny submarines. Gentoo penguins for example, can stay underwater for up to seven minutes and reach depths of nearly 330 feet.
Friday, February 9, 2007
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Harry and Pepper could be the poster boys for the phrase "opposites attract." Harry is a social butterfly and loves attention. Pepper, on the other hand, prefers to be left alone.
The two do share a love of swimming and eating fish, mostly herring and capelin. For two years the 5-year-old Magellanic penguins have been lovebirds, attached at the wing, at the San Francisco Zoo.
"They are a strongly bonded pair of birds," said zookeeper Anthony Brown. "They are monogamous. There hasn't been any exploring."
As the zoo and its animals get ready to celebrate Valentine's Day – for the penguins it is the start of breeding season – the male penguin pair is the sole same-gender couple struck by Cupid's arrow among the zoo's colony of 53 birds.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
On Devil Island in Antarctica we are treated to a rare sighting of a blond, or white, Adelie penguin! Often referred to as leucistic, isabelline, or albinistic this is a penguin that simply lacks the melanin of a "normal" Adelie and is much lighter in color and with a red beak instead of black. The really fun thing about this particular animal is that it is a parent to two normally colored (and VERY hungry) chicks! Sweet!
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Monday, February 5, 2007
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Hundreds of thousands of Magellanic penguins nest in this critically important wildlife reserve, established in 1979 with help from the Wildlife Conservation Society. WCS continues to monitor populations of nesting penguins, and has tagged tens of thousands of birds over the years to help track their movements.
Protecting nesting penguins is one component of WCS’s Sea and Sky initiative which aims to safeguard not only nesting beaches but also the distant feeding grounds of ocean wanderers including elephant seals, sea lions and albatrosses.
Posted by FUNNY PETS at 7:58 AM
Saturday, February 3, 2007
It could be their immaculate fashion sense or maybe it's that sweet, wobbly gait, but there's no denying penguins are, well, adorable. Like the rest of their cuddly class—the pandas, koalas, seals and bunnies—they help sell greeting cards and animated movies by tugging at our heartstrings.
But research shows our fondness for particular animals could have detrimental effects on preservation efforts. These so-called "glamour animals" dominate fundraising campaigns and news headlines, siphoning money away from more needy—if less photogenic—creatures, according to some experts.
Now scientists say that even within the cutest populations, we still play favorites.
David Stokes, a conservation biologist at the University of Washington, sorted penguin species by looks into what he called “morpho-species” and found that certain groups were overrepresented in popular photography books, a.k.a. coffee-table books. With greater “photograph area,” these penguins showed up more frequently and in larger pictures—the Paris Hiltons of the avian set.
Friday, February 2, 2007
Penguins are no
After a hard
day of brutal business
no flightless, aquatic
bird waddles up
to my leather arm
chair balancing scotch
and soda on its
Penguins do not
If they did I’d say
watch those glacier-eaters
flock to the edge of ice,
diving in beakfirst.
Ruining their plumage.
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Looking for an unusual and memorable way to say "I love you" to someone special this Valentine's Day? Instead of the usual chocolates, flowers or other trinkets, why not pamper your sweetheart with a bottle of the Little Penguin wine and a real-life Little Penguin adoption?
The Little Penguin winery's "Adopt A Penguin" program aims to protect and preserve the adorable, real-life Little Penguins of Phillip Island in Southeastern Australia — the smallest breed of penguin to be found anywhere in the world. Proceeds from each adoption are used to build and establish little penguin 'love shacks' — nesting boxes where amorous penguin 'couples' can canoodle in their natural habitat with greater long-term chances of successful breeding.
Each penguin adoption, available at www.thelittlepenguin.com, costs $50.00 and includes an adoption certificate, thank you note and a Little Penguin photo.