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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

3 thoughts on “Loving your family

  1. Anonymous Sep 28,2005 4:56 pm

    I kept wondering if they had single parent groups for the penguins for those whose mates were eaten, etc. And would the penguin couples separate if their baby died while the mom was gone? Or the dad let the baby die?

  2. Anonymous Oct 10,2005 6:09 pm

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