Gentoo Penguin

Dieses Eselspinguin Küken(Pygoscelis papua) ist nur wenige Tage alt und hat auf der Schnabelspitze noch den Eizahn. | This Gentoo Penguin chick (Pygoscelis papua) is only a few days old and the egg tooth on the tip of the beak is still present. (Solvin Zankl)How many facets can a small penguin have? On land the Gentoo Penguins  (Pygoscelis papua) of the Falkland Islands can be as charismatic, clumsy, manlike and clownish as everybody would expect from these upright birds. But there is more about them. Attentive to their two chicks, sturdy against storms during the breeding season, tensed and stressed when crossing the dangerous surf zone, all beaks when it comes to defend their brood against Brown Skuas or birds of prey as the Striated Caracara. But nevertheless, their true element is the water where they turn into serious muscular athletes, even holding the record: With a speed of up to 30 km/h the Gentoo Penguin is the fastest swimmer among the penguins. The so-called “porpoising” is a very efficient way of high-speed swimming as for short time periods the animal takes advantage of the lower resistance of the air compared to the water. In addition, the penguins can breathe during the leap with beaks wide open.

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