World Penguin Day

by Daniel Fox Blog

World Penguin Day! April 25th - a day in celebration of the world’s most formal of our feathered friends. They hop, they skip, they jump, they march for incredible distances and endure fantastically bleak environments.
Antarctic Peninsula

World Penguin Day

As a salute to our finely attired friends Oceanwide Expeditions would like to present you with this penguin pop quiz to see just how much you know about the world’s most bountiful species of bird, the penguin.

Question 1: Penguins are best suited for moving…

A. In water.

B. In the air.

C. Across the dance floor.

D. They never move out of their parents’ house.

Question 2: World Penguin Day coincides with…

A. The summer equinox.

B.  Adelie Penguins’ annual return to the sea.

C. The invention of the tuxedo.

D. Paul McCartney’s birthday.

© Siegfriend Woldhek | Oceanwide Expeditions

Question 3: Which number most closely coincides with the world’s penguin population?

A. 5,000,000,000.

B. 123,000.

C. 40,000,000.

D. 42.

Question 4: Where in the world are penguins located?

A. Wherever there is trouble!

B. Mexico.

C. Canada and Iceland.

D. Mainly the South Pole and its surrounding regions.

 

© Jan Bryde | Oceanwide Expeditions

Question 5: How do penguins find their mates and chicks in colonies that can number in the tens of thousands?

A. They recognize distinct vocal calls.

B. Smell.

C. Special dances.

D. They don’t. All penguins look alike, even to each other.

Question 6: How do penguins make their way across land?

A. Moonwalk, Electric Slide, and the Foxtrot.

B. Shuffling, sliding on their bellies, and hopping.

C. Limousine.

D. They don’t. They fly.

© Siegfried Woldhek | Oceanwide Expeditions

Question 7: World Penguin Day began where?

A. Toronto.

B. The canals of Holland.

C. McMurdo Station in the Antarctic.

D. The north pole.

Question 8: Why do penguins have “tuxedos”?

A. To attract tourist dollars.

B. The better question is, why don’t you, you boorish lout!?

C. They’d never find each other in the snow if they were all white.

D. It acts as camouflage when they’re in the water.

© Douglas Newson | Oceanwide Expeditions

Question 9: What is the main reason why some penguins “porpoise” (fling themselves through the air while swimming)?

A. Flight envy.

B. To catch bugs.

C. To coat themselves with air bubbles.

D. Because jumping over whales is fun.

Question 10: The fairy penguin is…

A. The largest type of penguin.

B. The smallest type of penguin.

C. The middlest type of penguin.

D. Doesn’t exist, you made that up.

© Janine Oosterhuis | Oceanwide Expeditions

Answers:

Question 1: Penguins are best suited for moving…

A. In the water.

They might not be the most graceful of creatures on land, but when they’re in the water penguins display an amazing ability to swim. Gentoo Penguins have been clocked swimming up to 40 km per hour!

Question 2: World Penguin Day coincides with…

B.  Adelie Penguins’ annual return to the sea.

Adelie Penguins reach their mating grounds in late October through early November. By the following March their eggs have hatched and the young are ready to make the march back to the hunting grounds of the sea.

And what a march it is. The average Adelie Penguin migration is 13,000 km!

(By the way, Paul McCartney’s birthday is June 18th.)

Question 3: Which number most closely coincides with the world’s penguin population?

C. 40,000,000.

Penguins are divided into 18 different species worldwide. While some are extremely populous, 13 of the species have declining populations, and 5 are considered endangered.

Question 4: Where in the world are penguins located?

D. Mainly the South Pole and its surrounding regions.

While this is for the most part true, penguins do travel further north than the Sub-Antarctic Oceans, some populations reaching the southern tips of South America, New Zealand, and Australia.

There’s even one species, the Galapagos Penguin, which lives on the Galapagos Islands, found off the west coast of South America.

Question 5: How do penguins find their mates and chicks in colonies that can number in the tens of thousands?

A. They recognize distinct vocal calls.

The largest of penguin colonies can actually number into the millions, but Mom can still pick out her baby from the cacophony.

Question 6: How do penguins make their way across land?

B. Shuffling, sliding on their bellies, and hopping.

Depending on the species, penguins on land generally fall into 2 types – shufflers or hoppers. The fastest shufflers manage about 3km per hour tops.

Question 7: World Penguin Day began where?

C. McMurdo Station in the Antarctic.

Researchers at McMurdo noticed that Adelie Penguins kept passing by every year around the same day – April 25th. When you’re in the Antarctic anything can become an excuse for a celebration – and thus World Penguin Day was born!

Question 8: Why do penguins have “tuxedos”?

D. It acts as camouflage when they’re in the water.

When a predator is in the water looking down at penguins the bird’s black back matches the dark depths of the ocean. When the predators are below looking up, the penguins’ white bellies match the light from the sky. This kind of camouflage is known as “countershading.”

Question 9: What is the main reason why some penguins “porpoise” (fling themselves through the air while swimming)?

C. To coat themselves with air bubbles.

As they fling themselves through the air penguins trap microscopic bubbles of air in amongst their plumage. This reduces friction in the water, allowing them to swim faster.

Biologists theorize that porpoising also lets the penguins catch a breath, evade predators, and that they might even do it for fun!

Question 10: The fairy penguin is…

B. The smallest type of penguin.

Found in Australia and New Zealand, the Fairy Penguin grows to an average of only 33 centimetres.

So how can you celebrate World Penguin Day?

One way to celebrate the big day is to throw a penguin themed party. Dress up in your black and whites (of course), serve raw fish, and dodge seals. Another option is planning a cruise to Antarctica to meet your favorite penguin in the wild. Or adopt an emperor penguin. Sure, it’ll be hard to pick your particular little fellow out in a group picture; still, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing a little something to help preserve their environment.

 

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