Introducing the Penguins...
Posted: Tue, 20 Mar 2012
Penguins received the popular vote to focus on next. Once found in all manner of exotic locations such the coasts of Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and the subtropical coasts of South America, South Africa and Australia - the changing climate has left some of them with no choice but to seek refuge in the Campus Centre. And why not, it's a very popular place and Penguins are known to be very sociable animals.
Happy creatures, they are obviously most known for being excellent swimmers, hence when the building is happy (due to low energy consumption) they will be seen playing in the water - when energy consumption is high they are sad and don't play in the water.
Some facts from WWF:
Penguins have flippers instead of wings and therefore cannot fly. Though they are feathered they spend most of their lives at sea and must return to land to mate and lay eggs. On land, they either waddle on their feet or slide on their bellies. Having evolved streamlined bodies, they can swim at up to 25 kms per hour (15mph). And they are not just superb swimmers, but also world class divers!
The reason for the penguins' distinctive markings is something that is quite common to most creatures who "operate" in the sea. The white underside and a dark upper-side is camouflage against predators (think of leopard seal looking up against the light of the sky, versus one looking down at the murkier depths...). On land, penguins are less agile. They almost always stand upright, using the stout tail feathers as a prop. They waddle rather than walk because of their short legs, but on ice they can move fast, even tobogganing on their bellies.Penguins feed on small fish, floating crabs and squids. Most species of penguins eat snow, and all of them drink salt water and fresh water. They can endure long periods without food on land.
Unfortunately, most Penguins like it cold, 'Emperor Penguins' in Antarctica especially, yet (according to a recent article by National Geographic) the population of Antarctic emperor penguins has declined by 50 percent over the last 50 years. Using the longest series of data available, reseachers have shown that an abnormally long warm spell in the Southern Ocean during the late 1970s contributed to a decline in the population of emperor penguins at Terre Adelie, Antarctica.
For more details see the following links: