Penguins- Surviving below zero degrees

January 27, 2016 - 3 minutes read


In a frost covered world apart from humans live a breed of animals who have undergone serious transformation throughout the ages. Dating back to having ancestors nearly 60 million years ago, this species has survived and evolved in freezing conditions to become one of the toughest in the planet braving it out against the harsh environment. We call them Penguins.

Penguins are seldom talked about for what they really are and most people view them as a cute and cuddly fluffy animal while overlooking the fact that penguins can’t be tamed. Classified as birds that are unable to touch the skies due to their inability to fly, they have adapted to life in the water by substituting their wings for flippers. Sleek, aerodynamic and slippery, they have developed the basic needs of an aquatic hunter to survive on a diet of fish, krill and other sea life to come across their paths.


So what makes these aquatic birds so unique? Is it that they brave the wild? Or is it the fact that they do not fear humans when being filmed? As research indicates, these creatures are more than just cute and cuddly and not at all just for the fawning of humans. They are majestic up close. They protect their young by patiently waiting for their partners to return, starving and giving warmth to their eggs just to fulfill a responsibility. Raising their young till they are able to fend for themselves, it is a natural process that is embedded deep into the minds of the penguins. The population might have declined, the conditions might be tough, but penguins as a race still survived. They have been since 60 million years.

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Although, not all is good with the black and white soldiers of the ice. Major environmental issues like global warming and the rising temperature have threatened and wiped out nearly 80% of the total penguin race. Seals, orcas, sharks and sea lions are the natural predators of these fine creatures and are just as much of a threat to penguins as oils spills or construction in the natural habitats. With the climate change and the melting of the ice at a quicker pace than previous decades, the food source of the penguins i.e.; small fish are also moving farther away from the penguins making daily sustenance a hard thing to come by.

Contributed By: Faizan Ali Syed

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