5 facts about penguins
Born in Sydney, Australia, Marty Garwood’s love for the ocean lead him to a degree in Marine Science, some extensive Scuba diving qualifications and a very hands-on job with an assortment of marine animals as a Senior Keeper at Sydney Aquarium. This role provided Marty with some very unique experiences such as being foster parent for penguin chicks. He was caught by the polar bug when visiting Antarctica seven years ago, and since then he tries to spend as much time in the ice as possible, working as a polar guide in Antarctica and the Arctic. Here Marty gives us 5 interesting and fun facts about his favorite topic – penguins!
• Most penguins support equality, with male and female sharing the rearing of their chick equally. Both will take turns incubating the egg to keep it warm and both will go out to catch food and return to feed the chick.
• The deepest dive by a bird was an emperor penguin that reached 565m! The longest time a penguin has been recorded holding its breath is 22 minutes.
• King and emperor penguins share a strange physical feature. In bright light, when their pupils contract, they become diamond shaped rather than circular. Some of the only animals on earth with pupil of this shape!
• Penguins and polar bears will never naturally meet because the equator is too warm for them to cross, making it a natural boundary line. Penguins only live in the southern hemisphere: the most northern species live in the Galapagos and are kept cool by the cold Humboldt current.
• In 1936, nine king penguins were introduced to northern Norway to increase their range. The birds survived the move but did not thrive in their new environment and the last sighting of a penguin in Norway was 1949. In 1937 one of the penguins was killed after wandering into a farm and being labelled a ‘freak of nature’ by the farm matron who had never seen a penguin before.
600 miles south of Cape Horn we find the world’s most isolated and remote wilderness – Antarctica. The grand and beautiful Antarctic landscape leaves its visitors in awe. The continent and surrounding islands are home to millions of penguins, seals and whales. Worth mentioning is the subantarctic island of South Georgia, a haven for anyone interested in wildlife and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places on earth.