Penguins: An Incredible Polar Species

The signature tuxedo coloration of the penguin is in fact strategic. The black plumage is used so the penguin can poke its head above water while swimming without giving away its location, while the white serves as a fake reflection of snowy sun while the penguin hunts above ground. This is especially helpful in Antarctica, where the species has no known land opponents, making the black helmet-like feathering essential for nabbing fish under the icy seas. And speaking of icy waters, it's interesting to note that all 17 species of penguins live wholly in the southern hemisphere, where some of the world's hottest temperatures are recorded. According to fossil records, the earliest penguin dates back as far as 60 million years ago—marking them as a rare species which survived the mass extinction of dinosaurs.

But with steep changes in the world's climate, and global warming creeping into the Earth's polar ice caps, how will penguins adapt? Are they soon to become a threatened species, or can they survive these changes as well? Learn more about these amazing animals through archival footage, expert interviews and close-up video of these creatures in the wild.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Anchovies are a top meal choice for Galapagos Penguins. 00:07

  2. Pelicans dive beak first into shallow anchovy habitats in order to disrupt the penguin's eating pattern. 00:44

  3. The weight of the water in a pelican's beak when attempting to catch fish is too much to fly with, so they must release some before eating. 01:23

Written by Curiosity Staff November 5, 2014

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