A Quest to find Penguins
Antony is now about to embark on MS Hebridean Sky (One of the Finest Small Ships in the World) as a guest lecturer, and will be venturing down to the continent once again this December and January. This time, he’ll be exploring the coastline of Antarctica and running an interactive program for schools via his website LiketoBe.org. He is inviting teachers and schools to sign up for free, so that pupils and teachers alike can share in his adventure and, hopefully, join him as he fulfils his goal of seeing a penguin in real life standing on some ice!
Of the 18 species of penguin in the world, only 6 live in the Antarctic. These are: emperors, kings, gentoos, Adelies, macaronis and chinstraps. Of these, only Adelies and emperor penguins rely entirely on ice to breed.
Gentoos are the fastest penguin and have been recorded swimming at speeds of more than 20mph!
Penguins are black and white to help camouflage them from predators in the water. From above, their black backs blend into the dark sea and, from below, their white underside matches the sunlight shining through the water surface.
Chicks can’t go in the water because they don’t have waterproof feathers – their downy feathers all moult before they fully fledge the colony and start swimming with the adults.