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Loving your family 3

Here are some interesting facts from the movie “March of the Penguins” care of Malcolm. It’s amazing how dedicated Penguins are to their family.

– at the end of March (end of summer), walk 70 miles inland to mate, lay egg and raise baby
– find a mate when they arrive (each year)
– lay egg, mother cares for it first
– transfer egg to father beginning of June, walks back to the sea having lost a third of their body weight
– eggs of young parents often freeze due to inexperience doing transfer – egg takes seconds to freeze, literally cracking open before the parents’ eyes
– mothers feed, some get eaten by seals, head back in July
– fathers endure -80F weather, 100 mph winds during storms, no daylight by mid-June
– huddle in masses of 1000, taking turns in the centre to keep warm
– July, light returns, babies start to hatch
– fathers have a single stash of food in their throat saved for their baby’s first meal even though the father is starved
– mothers arrive, mates call to each other to find one another
– transfer baby, talk to each other so the pair and baby remember each others voices, baby gets its first real meal
– father walks back to the sea after 4 months without food, having lost half his body weight
– chick learns to walk by riding its mother’s feet for about 1000 paces
– mid-winter worst storms hit, many chicks die
– some grief-stricken mothers try to steal others’ babies, but the group of mothers help fight her off – gulls arrive, try to catch and eat babies
– end of August, mothers head back to the sea
– chicks left alone for the first time
– fathers return soon after, find their chicks by sounding their calls
– chicks pig out, look like little bowling pins
– fathers and mothers continue treks to the sea for food for the babies, back and forth, sometimes spending time together as a family
– the sea ice has been steadily thawing the whole time, making the treks shorter and shorte until the ice is a few hundred yards from the breeding grounds
– babies can now srvive on their own, couples part for the last time
– chicks continue to hang out for a few more weeks until the ice melts around them or beckons them in to the ocean
– December, the chicks, looking more like penguins now, jump in
– swimming is innate
– live at sea for 4 years
– in year 5, cycle repeats