National Geographic : 1952 Sep
and from 17 to 22 living species and races of penguins. The "little people" are distributed through out the southern half of the globe, from Equator to pole, but they have never been found north of the earth's midriff. Contrary to hoary legend, penguins do not live exclusively on icebergs. Only four spe cies are known to touch the shores of Ant arctica. Few others even cross south of the Antarctic Circle. Actually, the penguin is typically an in habitant of the subantarctic. Four kinds even have the temerity to be tropical or sub tropical in their habitats. These, however, are found largely in areas washed by cold currents from the far south. Penguin rookeries are found on both coasts of South America and on the shores of South Africa. Large flocks exist in Australia and New Zealand, and many Pacific islands, in cluding the Galapagos, have penguin colo nies. Penguins range in size from the powerful emperor, which sometimes towers four feet in height, to the bantamweight Eudyptula minor of Australia, which measures a bare 15 or 16 inches. One unusually large emperor, captured by members of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott's second polar expedition, weighed more than 90 pounds. Another large specimen boasted a girth of 52 inches just below the shoulders. Dressed in their far-famed formal attire, all species of penguins look much alike. Bar ring differences in size, the main distinctions are found in the coloration of their heads. Johnny, or gentoo, penguins have coral-red bills and orange feet, and wear tiny white nurses' caps (page 413). The emperor and king (pages 409 and 412) fittingly wear a golden patch on either side of the neck; while the Adelie, in character as a comic, can be distinguished by the quaint white rings around his eyes (pages 423 and 428). The rockhopper sports a yellow pompon over each eye (page 422), and the macaroni has golden yellow eyebrows (page 424). Sound effects are helpful in some identifica tions. The king snores softly while sleep ing; the Magellanic, or jackass, owes its un complimentary nickname to its braylike call; the Johnny trumpets like a tin horn, or hisses when angered and while courting. Thick Blubber Girdles Give Warmth One writer speculates that the ghostlike braying of the jackass may explain the calls of lost souls heard on dark nights by super stitious sailors. Unlike fish, which they rival as swimmers, penguins are warm-blooded. The ability of the emperor to endure some of the coldest temperatures on earth, while maintaining body 4U0 heats exceeding 100° F., is one of the most remarkable feats of natural adaptation in the animal kingdom. A girdle of blubber an inch thick is part of the key to this resistance to cold. Though they are perhaps the least birdlike of all feathered creatures, penguins still share one habit common to sparrows, chickens, and ducks: When bedtime comes they put their bills under their flippers, their nearest ap proach to wings. Thanks to their streamlined bodies and to their powerful and highly developed "wing" muscles, penguins can swim like seals and play leapfrog like porpoises. Johnnies have been clocked swimming 30 feet a second submerged.