Saturday, December 11, 2010

Little Penguin

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As the name might suggest, Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) are the smallest penguin species in the world. They stand 17in tall, and weigh only 2lbs. This is quite a difference when compared to the Emperor Penguin, the world's largest. They stand 48in and can weigh up to 90lbs! Little Penguins are found in New Zealand and Australia, where they are also referred to as Fairy Penguins (for their tiny size) and Blue Penguins (for the color of their plumage.)

 Little Penguins are a slate-blue color, with a bright white belly. The males and females look exactly the same, though the males are sometimes a tad bit larger. Juveniles also look a great deal like their parents. Little Penguins are nocturnal carnivores, and hunt fish, squid, and crustaceans, making dives of around 60feet that last less than a minute.

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Little penguins are monogamous over many seasons, and will typically only find a new mate if their previous one dies. They also form a strong attachment to specific nesting sites, and will return to those sites year after year. Two eggs are usually laid, and both parents will care and feed for thir young, who are raised in burrows. Chicks fledge after 8 weeks, and reach full maturity by three or four years old. Chicks also have a tendency to nest near the areas where they themselves where hatched and raised. A very small number actually disperse to farther sites as adults.

 Little Penguins are not threatened, but their numbers have been affected by introduced predators like dogs, cats, and weasels. Cars and vehicular deaths have also hurt their populations in some areas.

2 comments:

  1. Real nice blog. I read it regularly.

    One point of advice, though, or critics, so you want... The use of units. I know that America is the only country where these rather old fashioned units are still used. But Fahrenheits, lbs, inches, feet, etc, all those awkward units aren't familiar to the rest of the world.

    Would it be an idea to mention the metric units as well (Celsius, metre, kilometre, kilograms, etc)?
    Saves me a lot of calculating :-)

    Rinke, New Zealand

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for the comment. The whole measurement issue is something I've been thinking about. On one hand, a vast majority of my reader base is from the United States, but as you said, our measurements are weird and no one else uses them. I'll work on getting converted figures in the posts :)

    ReplyDelete

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