Penguin-A bird that only wears tuxedo suits


Picture of penguins walking in their natural tuxedo suits.


The tuxedo society


Penguins may rightly be described as members of the “tuxedo society.”

Standing upright, these flightless birds, with black or grayish feathers on the back, and white ones on the belly, resemble men in full-dress suits.

Waddling on land, penguins appear quite clumsy.

But in the water they present an entirely different picture.

Large members of their kind may arch gracefully over the surface of the water with leaps up to six feet high.

Penguins are excellent swimmers.

Some have been timed moving at a speed of twenty-five miles an hour.

Their long, comparatively narrow wings serve as efficient and powerful flippers.

Although playing little part in actual swimming, the webbed feet act as rudders.

Impressive, too, is the underwater detection power of penguins.

Tests made at the San Francisco Zoo revealed that penguins can distinguish between the sound from their own bodies in water and that from fish.

Two fish were thrown into a tank having walls that absorbed sound and prevented echoes.

As four penguins plunged in, the lights were turned off and more fish were scattered throughout the tank.

Within thirty seconds, the penguins had eaten all the fish!

How did they locate their prey?

This still is a mystery.

Another outstanding ability of penguins involves migration.

Several years ago, forty Adélie penguins were captured and banded on the bleak coast of Antarctica.

They were then flown 1,500 miles to the middle of Ross Ice Shelf and left there.

Two years later, three of them arrived back at the home rookery, just in time for the breeding season.

They had managed to swim, walk and toboggan on their bellies over many miles of coast and ice pack.

Not bad for a flightless bird with no compass!