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Posts Tagged "penguins"

Compound Eye

The best peer-reviewed scientific figure ever

penguin_poop_figure1

An actual figure, from an actual research paper: Source: Meyer-Rochow, V. B., Jozsef Gal. Pressures produced when penguins pooh – calculations on avian defaecation. Polar Biology. 31 October 2003.

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Expeditions

Neutrinos on Ice: Waiting to Fly

ANITA rolling out to the launchpad. (Katie Mulrey)

It’s another beautiful day in Antarctica, and the time has come to launch ANITA! Finding the right date is tricky. Many factors have to fall into place. In order to detect neutrinos and cosmic rays, we want to fly over the Eastern ice sheet in Antarctica. We detect these particles via their radio emission. The [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Jackass Penguin

jackass penguin

These popular penguins have faced a lot of threats in recent years that have put them on a dangerous path. Species name: African penguin (Spheniscus demersus), a.k.a. the black-footed penguin or the “jackass” penguin for its donkey-like braying sounds. (The nickname has nothing to do with the penguin’s personality.) Where found: Coastal southwest Africa, including [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Gray Wolves Declared Recovered and Other Links from the Brink

gray wolf

Gray wolves, little penguins and rare birds in Fiji are among the endangered species in the news this weekend. Prepare for the Howls: In a not-unexpected move, this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Friday announced that it will propose to delist gray wolves (Canis lupus) from the Endangered Species Act (ESA), arguing that [...]

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Extinction Countdown

New Zealand Farmer Helps Save Rare Penguin from Extinction

white-flippered penguin

One of the world’s smallest penguins has nearly doubled the size of its population in the past decade and much of the credit is due to the farmer who owns the land where many of the penguins breed. White-flippered penguins (Eudyptula albosignata), also known as korora, are endemic to the Canterbury region of New Zealand, [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Controversial Toronto Zoo Penguins Not Gay after All?

toronto zoo penguins

What a difference a year makes. Last November, two male African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) living at the Toronto Zoo made worldwide headlines after they took more interest in each other than in members of the opposite sex. Considering the penguins—Pedro and Buddy—were brought to the zoo for breeding purposes, it posed quite the conundrum for [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Fishing Nets, Climate Change Threaten Yellow-Eyed Penguins in New Zealand

yellow-eyed penguin

It has been a rough few decades for endangered yellow-eyed penguins (Megadyptes antipodes). The species can only be found along a small portion of the southeastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the nearby Auckland Islands, and the isles of Campbell, Stewart and Codfish. Their total population numbered nearly 7,000 birds just 30 years ago [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Should Gay, Endangered Penguins Be Forced to Mate?

African penguins

What do you do when a species is rapidly disappearing in the wild and two of its most likely in-captivity studs decide to cuddle with each other instead of with eligible bachelorettes? That’s the problem Toronto Zoo is encountering this week as two endangered male African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) recently brought to the zoo for [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Updates from the Brink: A Plan for Bats, Oil-Spill Penguins and Branson’s Lemurs

The news about endangered species doesn’t slow down. Here, we update some Extinction Countdown stories covered in recent weeks: A plan to save bats The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a national plan to combat the bat-killing white-nose syndrome (WNS) on May 17. As we have reported here many times before, the fungus that [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Wolves lose, tigers gain, penguins in peril and other updates from the brink

Sometimes there are so many stories about endangered species that not all of them can be covered in depth by this blog. Here are some quick updates on stories previously covered in Extinction Countdown. Wolves still being targeted Even though conservation groups had proposed a compromise to keep gray wolves (Canis lupus) protected under the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Half of the world’s rockhopper penguins threatened by oil spill

An oil spill off the South Atlantic island of Nightingale has put nearly half of the world’s population of endangered northern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes moseleyi) at risk. The Maltese-registered ship MS Olivia ran aground on Nightingale Island on March 16. The New York Times reported Wednesday that more than 725 metric tons of fuel oil—half [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Thaw deal: Climate change could leave penguins in the dark

Adélie penguins

Few animals can live totally in the dark, and penguins are no exception. But new research shows that climate change could soon rob Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) of the sunlight they need to survive, and that could drive them into extinction. The problem comes from melting sea ice, according to the report in the July [...]

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Guest Blog

5 things you never knew about penguins!

Penguins are perhaps the most popular birds on Earth, thanks in equal measure to their incredible life cycles and charming tuxedo-clad appearances. Among their long list of superlatives, penguins can survive sub-freezing temperatures and gale force winds, dive over 1600 feet deep, hold their breath for more than 15 minutes, and survive with no food [...]

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Observations

Penguin Groups Use Physics to Avoid the Crush and Keep Warm [Video]

emperor penguin wave

With thousands of Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) huddled close together for warmth on the ice sheets of Antarctica, there seems bound to be some competition for a toasty spot near the middle. But these enormous clusters manage to bring each penguin in for a chance to warm up—all without causing a dangerous crush. How do [...]

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Observations

Giant extinct penguin skipped tuxedo for more colorful feathers

ancient penguin with more colorful feathers

A recent fossil find reveals that penguins might not have always been so formal in their feathery attire. Rather, some penguins of the late Eocene were likely cloaked in reds, browns and grays rather than the classic black and white, according to a new report. Aside from painting a more accurate picture of ancient aquatic [...]

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