Betty's Bay Penguins

Some Fun things to know about Penguins

Did you know there are Penguins down in South Africa that live on the beach? I visited the penguin colony at Betty’s bay in the Western cape and got a lot of penguin photos!!

Penguins are some of the most unique and amazing birds because of their physical adaptations to survive in unusual climates and to live mostly at sea.

1.Penguins lost the ability to fly millions of years ago, but their powerful flippers and streamlined bodies make them very accomplished swimmers. They are the fastest swimming bird species and can stay underwater up to 20 minutes at a time.

2. The light front and dark back tuxedo-like colouration of classic penguin plumage is called countershading. This stark colour pattern provides superb camouflage from above and below to protect penguins and to disguise them from their prey

Betty's Bay Penguins
Such weird looking creatures!

3. Penguins’ eyes work better underwater than they do in the air, giving them superior eyesight to spot prey while hunting, even in cloudy, dark or murky water, or where water is turbulent.

4. Penguins are highly social, birds that form breeding colonies called rookeries, numbering in the tens of thousands. They may use the same nesting grounds for thousands of years and many penguins are monogamous.

Betty's Bay Penguins
Such loving creatures!

5. Penguins lose a lot of heat through their feet and flippers, so they have a highly developed vascular system to minimise this heat loss. However, this adaptation could cause penguins to overheat in areas of higher temperatures. Thus species in warmed places, such as South Africa, have large flippers and bare areas on their faces.

And lastly, a lot of these penguins in the photos look a bit strange as they are molting. During penguin molting, every single baby feather on their body is replaced with a new adult one. This process is often called a “catastrophic moltbecause all the feathers are replaced at once.


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