As crime waves go, there’s something very fishy about a series of thefts taking place at the London Aquarium. As the mating season begins, ‘criminal’ Gentoo penguins have been stealing pebbles from rival nests. This is not the Penguin Posts first encounter with penguin pebble thieves and we’re sure it won’t be the last, as with a stealthy glance over their shoulders, the fiendish birds quickly waddle to their neighbors’ unguarded nests, steal a stone and run back to their own nest. In many cases it won’t be long before the ill-gotten stones will again be stolen by another bird or even the original owner. You can blame this circular crime wave on hormones more than anything else, but it’s a crime none the less. But as the number of break-ins increase, the Gentoos have become suspicious of their fellow colony members, and no one is beyond suspicion. If they notice a rival moving in to plunder their pebbles they quickly run back to defend their nests, keeping everyone on their webbed toes. The colony of 10, which arrived at the attraction last year, are in the middle of their first mating season at the aquarium. Males declare their interest in a female by selecting and presenting a ‘love token’ in the form of a pebble to their chosen female. If it is accepted, the couple then begin collecting more pebbles to line their doughnut-shaped nest. The birds build their stone nests to elevate and protect their eggs. Smooth pebbles are ‘like gold dust’ because they are easy to pick up and comfortable to lie on, according to those who tend to the birds. Hayley Clark, aquarist at the Sea Life London Aquarium, said extra pebbles had to be put into the enclosure after burglar Vladimir has conducted daily robberies on surrounding nests. She said: ‘Some of them are a little bit more tricky than the others, they keep an eye out for the owner of the nest before stealing. A couple of them will just run straight to a nest and will be chased off straight away. ‘They just prefer a certain type of pebble. Pebbles are like gold dust to these guys. ‘The male works out where he wants his nest and that is when he starts collecting pebbles. The female will join in as well after he has given her a few pebbles to place in the nest how she wants it. ‘It is like giving your girlfriend chocolate.’ Ms Clark added that there has been ‘a few tiffs’ over pebble thefts. ‘They will run over pretty sharpish and tell them where to go,’ she said. ‘It can get a little bit aggressive but they generally back away very quickly.’ No eggs have been seen yet but breeders are hoping that a few will turn up in the next few weeks. The pilfering activities of pesky penguins were also featured in the BBC’s Frozen Planet when crews captured Adelie penguins performing a similar thefts while filming in Antarctica.
Posts Tagged ‘frozen planet’
The Discovery Channel has Penguin fever and the Penguin Post has learned that with its new series Frozen Planet, Discovery has unleashed to millions the waddling little stars whose daily antics have become video sensations. Launching less than two weeks ago, Discovery Channel’s Penguin Cam has become an online addiction for us and over 30 million fans, and many have made it their second screen at work (guilty) and home. Today the Discovery Channel will be further feeding the addiction with the addition of a Second Penguin Cam: People have come eye to eye with SeaWorld’s king, emperor, Adélie, gentoo and macaroni penguins, and now they can dive into the chilly water with our all-new underwater camera placed at the bottom of their penguin pool. Visitors to www.discovery.com/penguincam will be able to easily switch between the land and water views online beginning tomorrow at 9am EST and, of course, continue to chat with fellow addicts online.The holiday yule log has nothing on the 300+ penguins at SeaWorld’s Penguin Encounter in San Diego. In response to unprecedented fan reaction, Discovery Channel will air the live Penguin Cam feed on Discovery Channel from 9-10am ET/PT this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, wrapped with Tweets from Cam fans.
“Is anyone here allergic to penguins?” the captain of Delta Flight 486 from Atlanta to New York asked passengers on Wednesday night. “No? Alright, we have a surprise for you.” “How would we even know if we were?” said the woman seated in seat 33D. “He can’t be serious,” she said, pausing briefly as she flipped through her copy of Sky Mall. But sure enough, after the plane reached a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet and the seat-belt sign was turned off, a pair of penguins waddled down the aisle from first class. “You can take pictures, but we ask that you don’t touch them,” the captain announced. As told to the Penguin Post the flight’s 300-plus delighted passengers heeded the warning, snapping photos and videos with camera phones lighting the aisle as if it were a red carpet. The foot-and-a-half tall penguins, Pete and Penny, ages 6 and 12, were en route to the New York premiere of “Frozen Planet,” a new Discovery Channel documentary series narrated by Alec Baldwin. The screening, held Thursday at the Lincoln Center, was followed by a “polar-themed” party, hosted by Baldwin, Dustin Hoffman and Glenn Close, among other environmentally-conscious luminaries. Oddly enough, this is not the first time penguins were allowed to roam the cabin on a commercial flight. In fact, it happens fairly frequently, judging by videos uploaded to YouTube. Just last month, three penguins on Southwest’s Orlando-to-La Guardia trek emerged from their kennels mid-flight, surprising passengers. Last March, two world-traveling waddlers from Sea World made an appearance on a Southwest flight to San Diego from San Francisco, where they attended a science convention.