penguins

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150K 'Dead' Penguins Might Just Be Chilling Elsewhere

They may have only abandoned their colony: expert

(Newser) - Troubled by the apparent deaths of 150,000 penguins since a Rhode Island-sized iceberg crashed into Antarctica in 2010? Good news: There might be an alternative explanation for their disappearance. No one has actually found the bodies of 150,000 Adélie penguins that vanished from a colony at Cape... More »

Iceberg Crashes Into Antarctica, Kills 150K Penguins

Suddenly, their food source was 40 miles away

(Newser) - Penguins have been recorded living at Cape Denison in Antarctica's Commonwealth Bay for 100 years, the Guardian reports. But their time could be nearly up. According to CNN , 150,000 penguins in the Cape Denison colony have died since an iceberg nearly the size of Rhode Island crashed into... More »

How One Aquarium Is Helping Penguins Get Frisky

New England Aquarium giving them 'honeymoon suites'

(Newser) - The New England Aquarium wants its endangered African penguins to get a little steamy. Aquarium experts are playing matchmaker behind the scenes to encourage eight pairs of African penguins to breed more chicks. Biologists say that will help a population that's expected to be extinct in the wild by... More »

To Avoid Falling on Ice, Do as Penguins Do

Don't stick with your usual stride: waddle instead

(Newser) - If anyone's an expert at walking in icy conditions, it's penguins—so it only makes sense that we should follow their example to stay safe. An infographic from Tablet explains it: Prevent slipping by focusing your center of gravity "over your front leg." That's instead... More »

Penguins Can't Taste the Fish They Eat

Their sense of taste is very limited

(Newser) - Penguins, it seems, can't really taste their dinners. They aren't able to pick up on sweetness, bitterness, or a meaty flavor known as umami, a study finds. Instead, they can only taste sourness and saltiness, the BBC reports. That sets them apart from other birds, most of which... More »

Australia's Oldest Guy Knits Sweaters—for Penguins

Alfie Date has been knitting for 80 years

(Newser) - When Alfred "Alfie" Date moved into a new retirement home on the New South Wales Central Coast last year, his reputation preceded him. But it wasn't his title of Australia's oldest person that the facility's nurses were most intrigued by. "I think I'd been... More »

Seals Busted Having Sex With ... Penguins

Antarctic fur seals observed getting frisky with King penguins on Antarctic island

(Newser) - Scientists are documenting "sexual coercion" in the Antarctic, and it's probably not anything like what one might think: Young male Antarctic fur seals, it seems, have been documented having sex with King penguins of undetermined gender, reports the BBC , via a study in the journal Polar Biology . Scientists... More »

Fossil Find: Penguins the Size of NBA Players

Klekowskii penguin would have dwarfed modern cousins

(Newser) - At 90 pounds, the emperor penguin has earned the title of World's Biggest Penguin—but it once had a relative that could have blown it out of the proverbial water. Researchers have discovered fossils of a 250-pound penguin on Antarctica's Seymour Island, Phys.org reports. Palaeeudyptes klekowskii lived... More »

Emperor Penguins Marching Toward Peril

Study: Climate change to cause steep population declines by 2100

(Newser) - The iconic Emperor penguin is now marching toward its own demise thanks to climate change, according to the first study to assess the creature's long-term chances. An international team of scientists studying Antarctica's Emperor penguin population is calling for the birds to be reclassified as "endangered" after... More »

Study: Climate Change Killing Penguins

Wetter storms, warmer temperatures taking a toll in Argentina, say researchers

(Newser) - Researchers who have spent nearly 30 years studying a major penguin colony on the coast of Argentina say climate change is taking a real toll on the animals, reports LiveScience . In their study published in PLoS One , the researchers say wetter storms that are particularly deadly for young chicks are... More »

Penguins' Unlikely Savior: Dogs

Maremma sheepdogs help restore population to Australia island

(Newser) - Things got so bad for the penguins on Australia's Middle Island that one researcher counted all of four just seven years ago, down from a peak of 1,500. The problem, as the New Zealand Herald explains, is that red foxes acquired a taste for the Little Penguins and... More »

Explained: Why Penguins Can't Fly

Theory: They're just too good at swimming

(Newser) - Wouldn't the March of the Penguins have been a whole lot easier as Flight of the Penguins? Perhaps—but if penguins were able to fly, they might have to give up their incredible swimming ability, scientists say: It's a tradeoff. A team looked at the guillemot, a relative... More »

Mass Penguin Die-Off in Brazil

Veterinarians concerned as dead penguins seemed well fed, healthy

(Newser) - Wildlife experts are concerned and investigating after 512 Magellanic penguins washed up dead across 65 miles of the Brazilian coast, reports the Merco Press . Further worrying veterinarians is that the birds were all apparently in good health, well fed, and free from oil stains. Magellanic penguins are migratory, moving from... More »

Heat's On: 36% of Penguin Colony Decimated

Food vanishing with melting ice: science crew

(Newser) - More than a third of a major Antarctic penguin colony has been decimated, and researchers believe it's due to warmer temperatures and disappearing ice and food. The colony of chinstrap penguins relies for food on krill, which depend on algae that attach to ice, which is rapidly disappearing, scientists... More »

Female Splits Up 'Gay' Penguins

It's definitely over for Toronto Zoo's Buddy and Pedro

(Newser) - The penguin love affair dubbed "Brokeback Iceberg" by Jimmy Kimmel is now definitely over. Pedro and Buddy, the "gay" African penguins the Toronto Zoo decided to split up last month , are now both more interested in females, the BBC reports. Buddy, who shared a nest with Pedro for... More »

'Gay' Penguins to Be Split Up at Zoo

Officials want Buddy, Pedro to mate with females

(Newser) - A pair of "gay" penguins will be split up by the Toronto Zoo so that they can have chicks—with females. The so-far inseparable males “will be put in with a specific female so they have the chance to get to know one another, and if they bond,... More »

Penguins Plucked From Oil Spill in Massive Rescue

With 300 birds dead, thousands more in danger, rescuers ask for help

(Newser) - An isolated island chain halfway between Africa and Argentina, home to 140,000 penguins, is now in the midst of a massive rescue operation, after a shipwreck sent thousands of gallons of oil and soya bean into the waters there. More than 300 penguins have already died since the ship... More »

Tagging Harms Penguins: Study

Flipper tags affects survival, reproduction

(Newser) - The most common way of identifying penguins for research does the birds serious harm, according to a new study. Researchers found that penguins given flipper bands had 40% fewer chicks than penguins with implanted transponders and lived shorter lives, the BBC reports. The team believes the tags created extra drag... More »

Chick Splits Up Gay SF Penguins

(Newser) - A male penguin couple that raised a hatchling at the San Francisco Zoo has been split up by the attentions of the amorous widow Linda, UPI reports. Magellanic penguin Harry was apparently smitten by the lovesick female, and he deserted Pepper, his partner of six years. Linda has "her... More »

Gay Penguins Raise Chick

(Newser) - A pair of homosexual male penguins is raising a chick together, the BBC reports. A zoo in Germany reports that one of its three pairs of gay males hatched the egg after it was rejected by its biological parents. "Since the chick arrived, they have been behaving just as... More »

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