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Adelie Penguin Adaptations

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Presentation on theme: "Adelie Penguin Adaptations"— Presentation transcript:

1 Adelie Penguin Adaptations
Although birds, they cannot fly. Living near a continent that is 98% covered with ice, they must find bare land with small rocks to build a nest and raise their young. Adelie Penguins flourish in a harsh environment.

2 FEET When standing, Adelie feet are whitish, because less blood flows to them when they are not exercising. This helps them to conserve heat. Adelie Penguin feet turn pink when they walk or just after swimming. This is because at this time, they need to expel heat because they don’t sweat. Blood goes to this area during exercise and this makes their feet pink.

3 This parent is holding the egg on its feet to keep it warm.
Their strong feet and nails grip the rocks allowing them to make the climb to their breeding colony. Parents nestle new born chicks on their feet which are warmer than the rocks underneath.

4 FEET Adelie penguins use their strong feet, toe nails and legs to push themselves as they slide along the ice on the belly. This is called “tobogganing”. Here you can see the bone structure of penguin legs and how they are positioned when they stand.

5 WINGS This penguin has just come out of the water where it was using its wings to swim. It is, therefore, hot when it emerges onto land. More blood has gone to the skin on the underside of its wings to help to expel this heat and therefore the wing appears pink. The underside of an Adelie's wing is covered by very small and compact white feathers. When the penguin has not been walking or swimming the color appears white

6 WINGS The ancestors of penguins flew both in the air and in the sea, just like auks (Northern Hemisphere) and shearwaters (Southern Hemisphere) do today. In fact , the closest non-penguin ancestor of penguins are the shearwaters, a family of birds that includes the most abundant of all seabirds. Penguins lost their ability to fly in the air when, through evolution, by changing their wings into paddles they became more successful at catching fish. It is far more strenuous to fly in water than in air, however, so penguins need to have abundant food close by in order to survive. The pictures show the difference between a wing meant for flying in the air (skua), and one designed to fly in the water (penguin).

7 Beak & Mouth Besides catching food, Adelie Penguins use their beak to carry rocks to the nesting site and to arrange them into a raised structure (their nest) that will keep the eggs and chicks from either rolling away, or getting wet when rivulets of water form as nearby snow banks melt. Since they have no teeth, these backward facing spines on this bird’s tongue help keep the prey in its mouth and guide it down the penguin’s throat. The top of the mouth has the same soft spines to help guide the food towards the penguin's stomach.

8 When an Adelie Penguin is staring straight at you or another penguin , it is not happy about you or the other bird's presence. This is a display called a Direct Stare. It may charge at any minute. This penguin has rolled its eye downward so that its iris is hidden. This penguin is somewhat agitated about a neighbor and will likely go into a display advertising this displeasure even more forcefully. EYES The white 'eye ring' is very important for individual and species recognition.

9 BODY Adelie Penguin bodies are fusiform in shape, tapered at each end and very hydrodynamic. Studies have shown the penguin form to be the most hydrodynamic of all marine creatures, meaning they need to use less energy to dive. They fly in the water by the up and down movement of their wings (shaped like paddles), with both the up and down stroke providing power. In flighted birds, power is exerted only on the down stroke. Penguins float on the surface of the water but do not use their feet to paddle like ducks and other water fowl.

10 FEATHERS Notice the large amount of downy material near the base of the feather. This provides a thick warm undercoat. The other (left) end is very stiff providing the waterproof covering which keeps the penguin dry.   These more puffy feathers are from the penguins head, where it can raise and lower a crest depending on what mood it is in.

11 FEATHERS The bird on the left has fluffed himself up in order to stay warmer. Air, warmed by the skin, can move among these feathers, trapped between the skin and the outer ends of the feathers. This is the same principle as that of a down jacket or down comforter that people use. The bird on the right has released most of the air between its feathers, giving him a sleeker and thinner look. This bird is ready for action.

12 FEATHERS The wind has blown this Adelie’s feathers apart. You can see the thick layer of down, which lies underneath the strong compacted tips of the outer contour feathers. These outer feathers are almost like fish scales and keep the water away from the downy layer.

13 Adelie Penguins’ tails are long, compared to other penguin species, and have stiff feathers. Walking wears these feathers, as they drag along the ice or rocks. They use their tail to help steer in the water, allowing them to make hair-pin turns. They also use their tail to prop themselves up while they are sitting back on their heels, keeping their toes nestled in their feathers. This Adelie is standing on a slope of rock and is using its tail to maintain balance. TAIL Near the tail is a gland that secrets oil. When Adelie penguins preen they use the oil to keep their feathers water proof.

14 PREENING Preening is an activity used by many birds to groom their feathers. Penguin feathers are exposed to cold winds, icy water, and lots of dirt, but must serve as a penguin's protection against these elements. Preening maintains the feathers' water- and wind-proofing ability. Fluffing and separating the feathers, while spreading the oil around, is part of the preening process. With oil on its beak, the penguin gently bites groups of feathers, which removes any dried dirt and leaves the oil on them.

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