Tuesday

Go Penguin Spotting! A Holiday With A Difference

If you're into your nature then what better way to spend your holidays than learning more about penguins? Penguins are fascinating creatures and it's no wonder so many people are obsessed with them. We can learn a lot from the way they live and their amazing survival mechanisms. There are around 17-20 different breeds of Penguins to learn about. Here are some of the more common ones:

The Little Penguin
The Little Penguin is the smallest of all the penguins, and they are often called 'Fairy Penguins' too. They have a blue hue to their plumage which means sometimes they are called the 'Blue Penguin'. Measuring an average of only 33cms in height they are most commonly found in coastal areas of Australia and New Zealand, and there have even been some sightings in Chile. A 'Penguin Parade' can be seen on Phillip Island, just off the coast of Melbourne, which is a huge tourist attraction. Like all other penguins, they have evolved so that their wings are now flippers, which make them very agile in water but they can no longer fly. Their average lifespan is around 6-7 years but some have been known to live to 25!

The Emperor Penguin
Emperor Penguins feature regularly in nature documentaries and are most commonly found in Antarctica. Measuring an average of 43-50cms they are the heaviest and tallest of all the species and they live mainly on fish and crustaceans. Every year they will travel from 50-120 kilometres to find the breeding colonies. The female lays her egg and the male incubates it while the female heads off to find food for herself and the baby. They can live up to 20 years in the wild but some reports have said they can live to 50. They are brilliant at adapting to living in extreme cold and they huddle up together to keep warm.

The King Penguin
King Penguins are the second largest species, being shorter than the Emperor Penguin. King Penguins can't hop like other penguins can so can only run or walk. Their eyes are good at seeing in the dark and they are found in the southern oceans. They have a regal stance as their name suggests, standing very upright. There is an estimated 2 million pairs in the world today and their colourful plumage makes them very easy to recognise.

The Adelie Penguin

These are found across the coast of Antarctica and they were discovered in 1840 by an explorer who named them after his wife. They are medium sized and have a distinctive white ring around their eye. They are known to be extremely aggressive in defending their territory but are very social creatures, living in colonies with their fellow penguins.

A penguin-spotting holiday is something that you and your family will love – a very different way to spend your vacations! It will take you across really interesting terrain and you'll learn a lot not just about penguins but about their habitats too!


This post was contributed by guest blogger Chuck Birt from A Maze 'N Things, based in Phillip Island Australia. Chuck is an avid blogger and likes to go surfing in his free time.

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