... is a place for the eco-curious to accompany one another as we sort through the latest green news, learn the history and future of food and agriculture, strive for sustainability, reflect on fun encounters in life and nature, and work to reduce not only our carbon footprints, but the footprints of our readers - one carefully considered step at a time.
January 20th is National Penguin Awareness Day! In honor of our flightless, flippered friends, JustSaying invites you to waste a solid hour of company time looking at pictures and videos of these little fellas. Here are some fun facts and photos to get you started:
Penguins can swim at up to 15 miles per hour!
The distinctive markings of penguins is no accident. The white underside and a dark upper-side is camouflage against predators - from above or below sea level.
Penguins are very social animals, breeding in groups or in large noisy colonies called rookeries. After mating on shore in the spring - almost always with the same partner- female penguins lay one or two eggs (although usually only one chick is reared). Please watch March of the Penguins for a deeper understanding of penguins love, life and rookeries.
Penguins are found in the Southern Hemisphere. The greatest number is found on the coasts of Antarctica and on the subantarctic islands. Some penguin species live as far north as the Galapagos Islands on the Equator and the subtropical coasts of South America, South Africa and Australia.
That's right: Penguins don't only live on icebergs. They can be found in warm areas (like Humboldt Current along the western coast of South America and Benguela and Agulhas Currents around South Africa) but only because there are cold water currents there.
Speaking of climate conditions, penguins are extremely sensitive to climate change and their greatest threat is global warming.
Today's penguins face a number of other threats including: destruction of nesting habitats, competition with fishermen for fish and shrimp, and introduced predators (such as rats, dogs and foxes) which eat penguin eggs and young.
Emperor penguins, who live on floating ice packs in Antarctica, can grow to be up to four feet in height and 80 pounds in weight.They are also the deepest diving penguins, capable of diving to depths of 1,700 feet!
If you enjoy these seabirds as much as I do and want to help, consider adopting one or two through the World Wildlife Fund. (Note: This is a symbolic adoption. You will not actually be recieving a little penguin pet in a WWF box. So just saying... don't waste the vacation day waiting for him/her.)