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1 Jean Pennycook penguinscience.com Introduction to Adelie Penguins.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Jean Pennycook penguinscience.com Introduction to Adelie Penguins."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Jean Pennycook penguinscience.com Introduction to Adelie Penguins

2 2 What’s wrong with this picture?

3 3

4 Ross Island Antarctica

5 5 The difference in size between the Emperor (large) and Adelie (small) Penguins. Two species of pack Ice penguins. These penguins are only found in the Antarctic, where there is sea ice.

6 6 Adelie Penguins in their natural habitat: walking over ice and snow.

7 7 This is sea ice. Salt water that freezes in the winter and melts in the summer. It is between ft thick. In ice-covered seas are where Adélie penguins live most of their lives.

8 8 Sea ice in February

9 9 Sea ice in August

10 10 Frozen sea ice breaking up in the spring.

11 11 Cape Royds Cape Bird Cape Crozier Cape Bird

12 12 We live here for 2 months. What would you need to live in a tent for two months?

13 13 Adelie Penguin. Notice the strong beak and complete feather coverage.

14 14 Why do you think this Adelie Penguin’s feet are pink? Do Adelie Penguins have long or short legs?

15 15 Penguins appear to have short legs because most of the leg is hidden under the feathers. Here you can see how long they really are.

16 16 Penguins have the most feathers per square cm than any other bird. Calculate the density. Compare it to a chicken. There is one bare place, the brood patch, which keeps the eggs warm against the penguin’s skin.

17 The feathers have a hard shell that overlays other feathers to keep the penguin dry in the water. At the base of the feather is a tuff of down that hold air against their bodies to keep them warm. Underneath the skin penguins have a insulating layer of fat to keep them warm not only in the water, but also when they are on the ice.

18 18 Pollution (Oil) is affecting the penguins in these ways: 1. Feather destruction leads to hypothermia 2. Oil Ingestion leads to ulceration of the digestive tract 3. Oil absorption causes red blood cells to rupture leading to anemia

19 19 In November, the males come ashore, gather rocks and build their nests. They must guard the nest at all times to protect their pile of rocks from other males.

20 20 The female arrives and the pair form a bond with a unique song. Two eggs are laid and the female returns to the sea to feed.

21 21

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23 23 Why does the adult hold the egg on its feet?

24 The only place not covered with feathers on the Adelie Penguin is the brood patch. Just big enough for 2 eggs this is where the eggs incubate against the warm body of the penguin.

25 25

26 26 Skuas are the main predator of penguin eggs and chicks.

27 27

28 28 Notice how the adult holds the hatching chick on its feet.

29 29 Penguin chicks learn how to stay warm.

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32 32 As the chicks get older both parents must go collect food. Chicks huddle together to keep warm in a crèche.

33 33 This chick is just about to molt its chick feathers for adult ones which will keep him warm and dry in the water.

34 34 Adelie chicks in the process of molting: adult feathers replacing chick feathers.

35 35

36 36 Tagging the birds allows us to follow their lives. The number on the band tells us which colony they were born in, what year they were born, and who they are (a number instead of a name).

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38 38 Adelie chicks getting ready to swim for the first time.

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40 40 Hungry Adelie Penguins returning to the sea for food.

41 41 Adult Adelie Penguins jumping between ice floes in the open ocean.

42 42

43 43 Human fishing practices are affecting the penguins’ habitat in these ways: 1. Less food available for the ecosystem 2. Parents must swim farther away from the colony to find enough food. 3. Penguins become by catch with some fishing techniques

44 These (splash) tags are attached to the feathers of the bird and are only on for about 2 days. They record the diving depth and location of the bird as it feeds. We need to retrieve the tag to get all the information.

45 Here is the data from the splash tags, showing where the birds are searching for food to feed their chicks.

46 Global climate change is affecting the penguins habitat in these ways: 1.Summer storms are becoming more severe. 2.Sea ice coverage is changing. 3.Summer melt from glaciers alters the breeding colony.

47 1. Summer storms are becoming more severe. With warming temperatures, more moisture enters the atmosphere creating larger storms with more snow.

48 Summer storms bringing a few inches of snow are common during the breeding season. Adélie chicks are tough and can withstand these storms.

49 With global climate change, storms are bringing more snow. The adult penguins will not leave their nests, even when the snow piles up. If the snow is too heavy, the adults and their chicks become buried.

50 This breeding group returned to the colony to find a four foot snow drift covering their nesting sites. Adélie Penguins need open ground free of snow and do not know how to deal with this much. The pairs built their nest on the drift, but their warm bodies melted the snow causing the eggs to sit in cold water. Very few eggs hatched in this group.

51 2. Sea ice coverage is changing. In some Antarctic locations, sea ice coverage is becoming reduced or disappearing, in others it is increasing and lasting longer. With global climate change there are winners and losers.

52 As ice cover in some areas of Antarctica is reduced, Adélie Penguin colonies are becoming smaller or disappearing. Antarctic Peninsula

53 An abandon nesting colony. These penguins had to move to another location in Antarctica where the sea ice conditions were more favorable.

54 In other Antarctic locations greater winds and cooler temperatures increase the ice suitability for the Adélie Penguins. These colonies are growing in numbers. Ross Island

55 Location of the “March of the Penguins” Emperor Penguin colony.

56 Emperor chicks can not swim until they obtain their full adult plumage. These birds are on several inches of ice over several hundred feet of water. If the sea ice melts before the chicks can swim, they will not survive.

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58 3. Summer melt from glaciers alters the breeding colony..

59 The eggs on these nests will not hatch as they are sitting in very cold water.

60 With warming temperatures glaciers retreat and more land opens up for nesting sites. The penguin colony on this island is increasing. Beaufort Island

61 61

62 Global climate change is altering the habitat of Antarctic penguins. For more information go to:


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