Follow @theurbancountry on Twitter Find us on Facebook Subscribe to theurbancountry.com via e-mail Subscribe to theurbancountry.com via RSS
Follow @theurbancountry on Twitter Find us on Facebook Subscribe to theurbancountry.com via e-mail Subscribe to theurbancountry.com via RSS

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