Friday, February 29, 2008

Impatient Penguins

Emperor penguins in Antarctica surround Paul Ponganis of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego as he removes a large cork emplaced over a study dive hole. The corks keep the holes from freezing over and keep the study penguins from diving before the researchers are ready to track them. At times, the penguins stand on the cork to protest as they await the opening of the hole.

Source: Live Science


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jibbitz Penguin Shoe Charms

JIBBITZ are fun accessories for your Crocs shoes! These small shoe charms are a great way to customize your Crocs shoes. Simple and easy to install, just push through the holes on your favorite pair of Crocs shoes and get an instant new look. Made from sturdy rubberized plastic. Be sure to get plenty to mix and match.

$1.99 from Surf & Dirt

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Penguin dreams

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mingle with penguins at Penguinarium

The Detroit Zoo’s Penguinarium, which opened in 1968, was the first facility in North America designed specifically for penguins.

The three species living at the Detroit Zoo include king, macaroni and rockhopper, all of which are sub-Antarctic species. These species require colder temperatures and, as a result, the Detroit Zoo maintains extensive life-support equipment for this facility.

The Detroit Zoo has a long history with penguins and has successfully raised many penguins of numerous species throughout the years. Recent focus has been on breeding macaroni penguins, a penguin species held at only a few zoos in North America. Thanks to the hard work of its animal care staff, the Detroit Zoo raised five macaroni chicks in 2007!

"They're very social," said Tom Schneider, curator of birds at the region's only zoo. "They form bonds. Then sometimes they have divorces, and they take up with someone else."

Schneider, of St. Clair Shores, oversees the penguins and every other bird exhibit at the zoo, a job he's held for 22 years. He learned early on that penguins have personalities, with some eager to form friendships and engage the public and others that keep their own counsel.

Rockhopper and macaroni penguins, especially, are friendly little guys who like to check out their visitors, Schneider said.

Penguins are so popular the zoo is raising funds by allowing groups of four animal lovers at a time to come into the Penguinarium after hours for "macaroni mingler" events. Groups pay $500 to spend time up close and personal with the soft, sea faring creatures.

Penguins have thrived in the Penguinarium since it opened; it now holds some of the oldest living penguins. In fact, King Penguin One, as he is known by zoo staff, is the oldest king penguin in the country.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Video: Baby Penguin at Brookfield Zoo

Caretakers at the Brookfield Zoo help take care of a baby Humboldt penguin that's having problems making its voice heard when it comes to mealtimes.

Watch video

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Penguin Butler

The penguin butler is made from resin mold and hand painted. You can use this cute little guy to hold drinks or party appetizers.

$99.99 at the Interior Gallery

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Guinness Penguins

A new Guinness Draught commercial tells a tale of friendship through two penguins' tumultuous journey. The story follows the lives of two penguin friends as they battle for survival against their harsh environment including avalanches and a killer whale attack.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Meet Pete & Penny Penguin

Youngstown State University is the only four-year University or College in the United States with the nickname “Penguins”.

Pete and Penny Penguin are their beloved mascots and represent YSU and the Athletic Department at home and road games, community functions and special events throughout the region.

For a little insight into what wearing the suits is like, read Tales from inside the Pete and Penny suits.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fears for St Kilda penguin colony

The Port of Melbourne Corporation's plan to monitor Phillip Island penguins rather than a colony at St Kilda, which is closer to bay dredging work, has outraged environmentalists.

Earthcare St Kilda, a voluntary group that has monitored the St Kilda penguins for 20 years, said the port authority was trying to hide any negative effects from the public.

It believes the St Kilda colony of 1200 penguins is most at risk from the dredging because its primary food source, anchovy, is likely to be decimated by work scheduled for the Yarra River mouth at the time they usually spawn.

"It may not wipe out the whole lot but it will take a long time for the colony to recover," Earthcare's co-ordinator of penguin research, Zoe Hogg, said.

Plumes from the dredging would force the penguins to forage further for food, which increased the risk of chicks starving to death in their nests, the group says.

Source: The Age

Photo: St. Kilda Penguins


Penguin Limerick

A penguin, resplendent in tux,
Has homing skills just like a duck's.
To achieve the South Pole,
He just heads for his goal:
The Southern Cross tail, Acrux.

Source: The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form

Note: Acrux is the brightest star in constellation Crux (the Southern Cross) and the thirteenth brightest star in the nighttime sky, at visual magnitude 0.77.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Penguin Paradise, For Now

At 28 degrees, parts of the Antarctic ocean are so cold, only the salt keeps it from freezing. But that’s just the way Adelie penguins like it.

Biologist David Ainley has been studying Antarctic penguins for 12 years. He took CBS News correspondent John Blackstone to Cape Royds to show the unexpected impact of global warming.

So far, climate change has been good for the penguins of Cape Royds. Clearing ice has left plenty of open ocean for feeding. But the air is still frigid, averaging just 15 degrees in the summer.

“In the short term, Cape Royds is the place to be if you're a penguin,” says Ainley.

This year, 5,000 Adelie penguins converged at Royds to breed and raise their young.

For now, the complex interactions of a changing climate seem to favor this one small colony at Cape Royds. But this really is the end of the earth--as far south as penguins can go in search of the cold climate essential to their survival.

Source: CBS News

Monday, February 18, 2008

Humboldt Baby at Brookfield Zoo

This Humboldt penguin chick hatched Jan. 31 at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo.

The chick is now being fed by hand after not gaining enough weight naturally. Six times a day, the unnamed penguin swallows down a "shake" made of liquefied herring, cepelin fish, vitamins and Pedialyte -- the dehydration fluid familiar to most moms and dads.

The chick lives in a temperature-controlled brooder shared with plush penguins to minimize the chance of the chick becoming attached to humans.

Humboldt penguins ... did you know?

• Using their wings as flippers, Humboldts "fly" underwater, usually just below the surface, at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. They steer with their feet and tail.

• A special gland allows them to drink salt water.

• Humboldts lay their eggs in layers of dried feces, or guano, left by seabirds.

• Once numbering in hundreds of thousands, their population is now estimated to be about 41,000. Guano harvesting -- it's used in fertilizer and gunpowder -- as well as overfishing and climate change has stressed the breed.

• They avoid over-heating by flushing pink on their face, wings and feet. This sheds body heat by sending blood to the bare part of their bodies.

• Humboldts live approximately 20 years in the wild and up to 30 years in zoos. They weigh about 10 pounds. The South American natives are found off the coasts of Peru and Chile.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Penguin Science

Like animals everywhere, Antarctic penguins are adjusting, or not, to changes in their habitat brought by warming temperatures. With extensive field research on their existing colonies, and a 30,000 year-old record contained in deposits of their bones, we know more about how Antarctic penguins will adjust to rapid climate change than almost any other creature on Earth.

David Ainley has been studying the Adelie penguin colony at Cape Royds for 12 years, spending much of the southern hemisphere summer in a tent. But Ainley has made it possible for millions of people to look in on the penguin colony here by a live camera feed to his web site

Monday, February 11, 2008

King penguins could be wiped out by climate change

One of the emblems of the Antarctic, the king penguin, could be driven to extinction by climate change, a French study warns.

In a long-term investigation on the penguins' main breeding grounds, investigators found that a tiny warming of the Southern Ocean by the El Nino effect caused a massive fall in the birds' ability to survive.

If predictions by UN scientists of ever-higher temperatures in coming decades prove true, the species faces a major risk of being wiped out, they say.

The species is unusual in that it takes a whole year for all the birds to complete their breeding cycle -- the ritual of courtship, egg laying, incubating and chick rearing.

This extreme length, spanning the Antarctic winter and summer, means the birds are vulnerable to downturns in seasonal food resources for incubating their eggs and nurturing their chicks.

Their main diet, small fish and squid, depends on krill. These minute crustaceans are in turn extremely sensitive to temperature rise.

Source: The Times of India

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Preserving penguin populations

Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World is a wonderland of snow, ice and amazing underwater sights in New Zealand. Here, you can explore the wilds of Antarctica and the natural treasures of the ocean depths in their Underwater World.

You can also visit Kelly’s Penguins which live in an environment that closely mimics their natural habitat, with fresh snow, real ice and freezing temperatures.

More importantly, Talrton's has been breeding penguins for nearly 12 years and has so far exported 110 of them to countries such as China, Spain, Taiwan and Japan. Tarlton's obtained its first 20 king penguins from Sea World, in San Antonio Texas in 1994, and its first 29 gentoo penguins from Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland a year later.

There is now a plan underway for Talrton's to export 77 more of its penguins, this time to a Melbourne aquarium. The proposal is to send 24 king penguins and 53 gentoo penguins to the Melbourne aquarium which plans to also breed the penguins for export, once its own pens have been stocked. It wants to have the first Antarctic display in Australia with penguins.

The Melbourne Aquarium plans to widen the genetic diversity of the New Zealand birds by importing fertile penguin eggs from the United States.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Penguin mascot in lawsuit

Channel 4's SnowBird has been notifying Tennessee and Kentucky children about school closings for over 25 years.

This penguin began his television career in the form of an inanimate, colorful cut-out that squawked out the phrase, "No school!" From such humble beginnings, the bird took flight.

During his long career, SnowBird has appeared in a year-long "Word from SnowBird" public service series, starred in three Christmas specials, and hosted children's programs about sportsmanship and self-esteem. These efforts have earned the Bird numerous awards, including regional Emmy awards.

Not many penguins can boast of a past like that. But Channel 4's SnowBird refuses to rest on his reputation. As long as there are children and snowfalls, the future is bright for this bird.

But not if Paul Truitt of Hendersonville can help it.

He says that the ice cream truck-style jingle that accompanies promotional spots for WSMV-Channel 4’s mascot SnowBird, is a “cancer on my eardrum.”

Truitt has sued the television station after the penguin ditty became stuck in his head for more than a month, he says, resulting in the need for a doctor visit and a prescription for sleeping pills.

“They know that this song has the power to drive people to distraction, yet year after year, they broadcast it hundreds of times, especially targeting children,” Truitt says. “It just got to the point where it was driving me nuts. I was waking up in the morning with that squeaky little ding-dong tune going in my brain.”

Friday, February 8, 2008

A new baby in Connecticut

A baby penguin is the newest addition to the collection of fish and animals at the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration in Mystic, CT.

The aquarium announced that the chick was born Jan. 13. It is expected to go on display in the spring. Aquarium scientists will not know the sex of the chick until a blood test is done in a few months.

The aquarium is part of a cooperative breeding program for African black-footed penguins with other zoos and aquariums, known as the Species Survival Plan. The aquarium has seen more than a dozen chicks successfully hatched over the past 18 years.

African black-footed penguins lay two eggs, and both parents share in the responsibility of incubating them for 38 to 42 days. After they hatch, the parents feed regurgitated fish to the chicks.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Magnatudes - Salvador Penguin

Magnatudes Salvador Penguin has magnets in his back, hands and feet to stick where you want. Salvador Penguin had the cutest yellow feet and a yellow beak to match!

$6.99 at Ty's Toy Box

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Penguin Thermometer

There's a very good reason for all those baby items shaped like animals, as parents soon discover: your child is far more likely to submit to 'Mr Penguin' taking a quick look into their ear than to a scary-looking piece of adult equipment.

£23.99 at Bambino Direct


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Penguin Clip Watch

Keep track of the time at a glance with this penguin stainless steel, water-resistant quartz watch that has golden accents and a lobster clasp to attach to belt loop, purse, backpack or buttonhole. Penguin Clip Watch is 1 1/2".

$17.95 at Whales & Friends

Monday, February 4, 2008

Penguin Infobook

Sea World Infobook on Penguins is a great resource for penguin lovers, teachers and students. The website also includes a printable .PDF resource.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Penguin Perfume Bottle

Handmade Egyptian glass - This beautiful glass bottle is made in a way similar to the way it was made in ancient time which makes it a perfect collectable or gift.

$11.81 at Egypt 7000

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Animal Bank

I love this translation:

In collaboration with the Japanese designer PUNTO IT, Ideaco have produced the Ceramic Penquin money box from the Animal Bank Series. Being colourful it is the saving box of the cute animal. The coins are inserted into the top of the penguin's head.

£ 20.00 at Paul Smith

Friday, February 1, 2008

Raku Penguin

One of a kind raku pottery. Black and white with orange throat & cheeks.

$60.00 at Grove Arcade