The Suitcase Lady


April 24, 2018, 8:37 pm

Here is a wonderful piece of news. 1,500,000 penguins have been found. The best part is they were never lost. Unbelievably, no one knew of their existence. How can 1,500,000 anythings stay hidden in this privacy-less age?

The penguins are Adelies. The species was discovered by the French explorer Jules Dumont d’ Urville in 1840, who named them after his wife. Adelies are one of the southernmost birds in the world. They live in the ocean and nest on the Antarctic coastal beaches and adjacent islands.

Scientists thought they had located all the Adelies’ breeding grounds and were convinced that Adelie populations were in serious decline. But then satellite imagery detected masses of guano on a part of Danger Island thought to be penguin free.

A group of scientists decided to check it out despite the fact that they knew Danger Island lived up to its name. The sea expedition had many close calls with treacherous ice but were rewarded by finding a million and a half happy Adelies breeding on the island. A drone was employed to do the head count.

We now can take Adelie extinction off our worry lists. And a good way to celebrate this happy discovery would be to observe National Penguin Day which is tomorrow, April 25. I don’t exactly know how to do this, but perhaps wearing black and white and thinking cool thoughts would suffice…..or eating raw fish.

Here are some penguin facts to ingest:

  • All 18 penguin species live south of the equator. However, the Galapagos Penguins are so close to the equator they can swim across.
  • The largest penguin, the Emperor, can be 4 feet tall and weigh nearly 80 pounds. Think three Thanksgiving turkeys.
  • The smallest penguin is the Little Blue or Fairy Penguin of Australia and New Zealand. It is never more than 16 inches tall and 2 pounds.
  • The fastest penguin swimmer is the Gentoo which can reach speeds of 22 miles per hour.
  • Penguins can drink sea water. Salt is filtered from the blood by special glands and secreted through the nose.
  • Prehistoric penguins lived 35 million years ago and stood 5 feet tall and weighed 200 pounds. That would be a penguin presence.

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