Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Living In Extreme Weather

Penguins have thick layers of fat under their skins to keep their bodies warm.

The top layer of a penguin's skin is made of thousand of small, stiff feathers.  The air between the feathers is good insulation.  To make their 'coat' even more water and windproof penguins spread some oil on it (this oil comes from a gland above their tail).  Below the feathers is a thick layer of blubber to keep the penguins warm.

Once a year, penguins shed their feathers and grow new ones.  This is called molting.  The old feathers come off in patches and at the same time new feathers grow.  This take about three weeks and during this period the penguins do not eat nor swim.  

All penguin backs are black and all bellies are white.  This has to do with swimming camouflage.  The black back looks like the bottom of the ocean and the white belly looks like the water surface.  Some species, like king and emperor penguins, have yellow, orange or red areas on their head or neck.

A Rockhopper penguin spreading its wings because it's too hot.


lee yingpeng said...

thanks for sharing

phoon leefuai said...

Thanks a lot. Hope that we can share the information all the time.

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