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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Antarctic Wildlife - Adelie Penguins

This little fella is incredibly sociable. This includes being very curious about human activities. They will wonder straight through Casey station without fear of our activities and will come right up to you if you remain still. Of course feeding or touching them is a strict no no. I was welding a new bollard at the Casey wharf one day prior to our resupply, when I raised my welding helmet, there was one of these little guys standing about 3 to four metres away. Hell I hope he didn't get a weld flash. Anyway, these guys are true Antarctic penguins. They are monogamous and have an accelerated breeding cycle. They eat mostly crustaceans, with some fish Krill is also favoured in some locations. Most food is found 20 to 40m below the surface, but have been recorded as diving as far down as 175m.  Their colonies are usually large,  noisy, and they pong (smell bad). Some of the colonies around Casey have around 30 to 40 thousand penguins in them. They are not considered at this time to be endangered. They range in height from 70 to 71 cm tall and have a weight range from 3.8 - 8.2 kg.  Leopard seals love to eat 'em. From what I have observed, they have strict paths of travel that they travel by when in a group and  when on land. When you disrupt that path with say, a fuel line or a track pushed through the snow, they will walk up and down that obstacle until they can regain the original path. They may also just stand there in a big huddle at the obstacle obviously discussing what the hell is this thing doing on our pathway. Then, one brave soul will jump over, lets say a fuel line (75mm in diameter), and then the rest of the cowards will follow. This may take hours, with committee meetings and sub committees obviously considering all impacts that such a crossing will have on their survival...!

for more pics on penguins go to my online store

Check out mu Utube video on the Adelie as well.

See Also Emperior Penguins

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