Archive for March, 2012

Climate Change Good for Gentoo Penguins, Bad For Adelie Penguins

March 27, 2012

As the Antarctic Peninsula warms, penguins that live in the area year-round have a breeding advantage over birds that migrate in. Gentoo penguins live on the Antarctic Peninsula year-round, and their numbers are increasing while migratory chinstrap and Adelie penguins are dwindling in the area. New research by Stony Brook University researcher Heather Lynch reveals that Gentoo penguins have adapted to warmer temperatures faster than the other two species. Using field work and satellite imagery, Lynch and her colleagues tracked colonies of the three penguin species. They found that warming temperatures triggered penguins to lay their eggs earlier in the season than normal. Gentoos are able to adapt more quickly because they’re locals, the researchers found. Adelie and Chinstrap penguins aren’t aware of the local temperatures until they migrate into the area, meaning they can’t shift their breeding as dramatically. Gentoo penguins may also have an advantage because they prefer areas with less sea ice than chinstrap and Adelie penguins. The latter two species rely more on ice-loving krill as their food source. A long-term study of penguins published in 2011 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that krill density is down as much as 80 percent since the mid-1970s. Krill depend on algae growing on sea ice for food. Also in 2011, researchers reported that a small colony of West Antarctic Peninsula Emperor penguins had disappeared in 2009 after about three decades of stability. Warming is also bringing other changes to the southernmost continent, including colonization by king crabs.

Colony of Adelie Penguins in Western Antarctica

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Penguin Blanket

March 23, 2012

It’s been a few years since Penguin Place has offered a penguin blanket of any sort, but today marked the arrival of what may be our most beautiful penguin blanket offering ( in a 1970’s sort of way).  This queen size, extremely colorful scene depicting an Emperor Penguin and chick on the Antarctic ice with the vivid polar lights above them, and more penguins on ice in the background will certainly become the centerpiece of your bedroom.  This very cool, retro looking blanket is available in a queen size (95″ x 79″) only, and makes a great looking bed spread, throw or disco wall covering as well as blanket.  This luxury plush blanket is not made from any animal. It is a printed high pile acrylic or acrylic/ polyester blend blanket. It’s called a “plush blanket” and it gets its name from the furry, plush soft texture that feels similar to mink fur. This penguin blanket does not shed, bleed, fade and is machine washable and Dryer safe! They are durable and will last from 10-20 years with normal wear and tear.  Our penguin plush blanket is also allergy free .

Queen Size Penguin Blanket

Penguin Days in Niagara Falls

March 23, 2012

Come celebrate with the Peruvian penguins at the Aquarium of Niagara from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Niagara Falls, N.Y.  Everyone’s favorite flightless birds are among the aquarium’s most popular residents and this weekend you can participate in a penguin “meet and greet” encounter. Of course, they will be dressed formally for the occasion, but aquarium guests can dress casually. Experienced exhibit department staff members will answer all questions about these fun and fascinating birdsduring regular penguin encounters in the second floor community room. “Beaker,” the aquarium’s penguin mascot, will also be on hand. Challenge your penguin knowledge by participating in the annual trivia contest with a “plethora of penguin prizes” for the winner. Children can make and take a penguin craft, visit the “Sea N Do” Shack and learn more about penguin conservation while exploring a research field station. There will be penguin gifts, including original penguin art, available for purchase. Adopt-a-Penguin certificates can be purchased by anyone wishing to sponsor an Aquarium penguin for one year. The aquarium’s regular schedule of California sea lion demonstrations and harbor seal feedings will continue as usual throughout the weekend. Penguin encounters are included in regular admission of $10 for adults, $6 for children, and free for 2 and under. Members are free. Admission to penguin encounters will be determined by availability of tickets and space.

One of the Aquarium of Niagara’s Peruvian penguins struts his stuff. The aquarium is celebrating Penguin Days this weekend.

Upcoming Penguin Plunge Not So Chilly

March 23, 2012

So what if it’s been in the 70’s and 80’s the past week.  It’s the spirit of the penguin plunge that counts and besides the water temperature is still freezing.  On this coming Saturday afternoon, approximately 200 “penguins” will be taking a plunge into 42-degree Crystal Lake in Ellington, Ct. The Ellington Penguin Plunge is one of 10 Plunges for Special Olympics Connecticut that are happening across the state this year. The penguins – including a group from Patch – will be jumping into the chilly water in bathing suits, team jerseys or creative costumes for a good cause. There will be incentive prizes and awards given for top fundraisers and best costume. Special Olympics Connecticut Regional Director Marc Mercadante said that plungers come from all walks of life and raise all amounts of money for the cause. Local sponsors include Maneely’s Banquet and Catering and Red Onion Restaurant. Event proceeds will support Special Olympics Connecticut’s year-round programs. Clear Channel Community Access Radio will be on site to provide music and announcements. Local sponsors include Maneely’s Banquet and Catering and Red Onion Restaurant. Event proceeds will support Special Olympics Connecticut’s year-round programs. Clear Channel Community Access Radio will be on site to provide music and announcements.

 

Penguin Tea Set

March 22, 2012

After a six month hiatus our wonderful Japanese Kotobuki Penguin Tea Set is back in stock.  In recent months Penguin Place has tried to streamline our vast penguin inventory in response to increasing shipping costs by going leaner, smaller and lighter.  This tea set is none of those things.  It’s fairly heavy and a bit on the delicate side (at least when it comes to shipping), but it’s so unique and so lovely we just keep bringing it back. Our three piece Kotobuki Penguin Tea set is unique, hand crafted penguin earthenware at its best. The 4 1/2″ tall penguin tea pot includes its own metal filter screen for tea steeping. The set also includes a pair of 3″ tall tea cups for that intimate tea party for two.  Kotobuki is a brand and style of Japanese made ceramics that are produced in several different regions of Japan: Mino, Seto, Yokkaichi, Mashiko, Soma, Tokoname, Shigaraki, and Iga. Each area is represented by the traditions and innovations of select Japanese kilns, using raw materials, glazes, shapes and production methods which differ subtly and are often unique to these regions. Intertwined with Japan’s history and culture, these ceramics are produced by skilled craftsmen, many of whom have obtained their expertise and technique through years of training. A good portion of Kotobuki’s production processes are still done carefully by hand in order to ensure the highest quality and sensitivity to design. Technology has also allowed modern machinery and computers to contribute by increasing efficiency and adding new dimensions to finished products, thus, integrating the best of classic and modern craftsmanship. Each set comes gift boxed.

Kids Penguin Socks

March 22, 2012

It’s been about seven months since the factory fire at the Fore Bare Feet plant in Helmsburg, Indiana that destroyed all their inventory and sock manufacturing equipment.  As we were getting about half our adult and kids penguin socks from Fore Bare Feet this was not just a devastating blow for the folks associated with the F.B.F. but for Penguin Place and penguin sock lovers the world over.  At the time

I could almost smell the penguin socks burning.

we were very worried that the factory would not return, along with the 150 or so jobs, not to mention 50% of our penguin sock inventory. But, fear not penguin sock fans.  Fore Bare Feet has re-built their plant and have been installing their huge knitting machines as they slowly but surely get back into the business of making  (penguin) socks.  This week marked our first delivery of penguin socks

from the sock manufacturer back from the ashes with our Kids Penguin Chicks socks (adult penguin chick socks should be here next week).  Over the next few months the entire penguin sock line should be back in stock along with a couple of new designs. Oh happy days!

Our latest kids penguin sock

Penguins On Ice For Breaking & Entering

March 22, 2012

The Penguin Post has learned that the El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies arrested six penguins on Tuesday, believing they are the waddlers behind an incident of early morning vandalism at Clint High School.  It seems the mischievous penguin vandals are accused of breaking into the school and then using glue to close doors and turn lights on.  In a curious move, the penguin perps also spray painted the number “2012” on a brick wall.  Authorities believe they may be minions sent to spread the word about the year-end apocalypse.  Or, maybe not, since it seems the six penguin vandals are actually seniors at the Texas school.  Someone saw the group — dressed as penguins — sneaking into the high school at 3:50 a.m. Monday morning and called the police. The group seems to have randomly chosen the penguin costumes, as the school

Wanted for B & E

mascot is listed as the lion. Perhaps the gangs thinking was that a penguin is a more sympathetic animal if caught. The teens — Ray Pacheco, 18, Hector Soto, Robert Armendariz, 18, Brandon Soltero, 18, Omar Arballo, 18, and Manuel Cano, 17 — have been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity reports the El Paso Times.  The crime, which is akin to engaging in a conspiracy to commit burglary, is a felony under Texas law. This means that these penguin impersonators can potentially spend 2 years in jail for carrying out a senior prank.  In case you were wondering, Penguin Place has not sold any penguin costumes to the El Paso, Texas area recently.

Penguins and Global Warming

March 21, 2012

It goes without saying that even penguins are affected by the climate change that takes place out there. Due to global warming around the world, their natural environment is affected. Those species that live in the extremely cold regions depend on the ice because it is what they walk on. When it is melting at fast rates it completely changes their natural environment. At the same time it can make them vulnerable to predators that they were protected from in the past due to the thick sheets of ice. Scientists believe that half of the population of penguins in the Antarctic region has been depleted in the last 50 years due to the climate change. It is the species known as the Emperor Penguins that have seen the largest losses. This is due to the warming trends continuing for several years. There is plenty of change that takes place over that span of time, and most of it isn’t positive when it comes to the natural habitat of the penguins.You also need to remember that these penguins trek over miles and miles of frozen ice to be able to get to their breeding grounds. When those sheets of ice are melting though this is more of a difficult process. As a result it can prevent penguins from reaching those breeding grounds in time. Therefore the number of females that successfully create eggs with offspring in them is reduced as well. It may surprise you that some penguins have to worry about sunburn. They live in warmer climates where it is possible for them to become too hot. Some of them need to cover their feet with their flippers while on land to prevent them from being sunburned. Others have to continually attempt to cool their bodies due to the excessive heat. The young are very vulnerable too because they are born with no feathers or very few of them so the rays from the sun can easily penetrate to their skin. These penguins in the warmer areas may spend more of their time in the water to be able to cool off. This can make them more likely to be eaten by predators though because they are in the water for extended lengths of time. They also use plenty of energy to swim around so they will then have to hunt for more food in the water to maintain their needs. While there is research to indicate many species of penguins are making changes so they can adapt to the climate change, the rate of the change may be too fast to allow the penguins to adapt, and besides it doesn’t mean we should allow it to continue. They are doing what they must in order to survive. Yet these changes can easily upset their natural balance of things. As a result there is an increased risk of adults dying as well as their offspring not making it to maturity. In some species of penguins, such stressful changes result in them not participating in reproduction at all. What the future holds for the penguins out there depends on our efforts. Too many people don’t see global warming and climate change as something they need to be concerned about. However, with the education about such issues it is hopeful that more people will take a firm stand to make changes for themselves and for future generations. We all need to be aware of global warming concerns and how they affect the world around us. The penguins are just one more element in our world that is adversely affected by it. That is why we all need to take responsibility for what we contribute to our environment. By taking steps individually to reduce global warming, we can create a collective effort that is going to make a difference.

A New Kind Of Penguin Parade

March 21, 2012

A penguin parade with a difference will take place tomorrow as 29 Gentoo penguins move to a new home within the Edinburgh Zoo. The Penguin Post has learned that the birds will be carried by a team of animal keepers from the normal penguin enclosure to their new home for the next few months. One bird per keeper, the unusual 15 minute parade will wind up at Barbary Rock, the old rock hyrax enclosure, which has been converted into a temporary home for the zoo’s remaining Gentoos. Edinburgh Zoo’s penguin enclosure is currently the focus of an intensive maintenance and upgrade program which will take a couple of months. Essential maintenance work is also being carried out on the penguin pool. The necessary work means that Edinburgh Zoo’s penguin colony of Kings, Rockhoppers and Gentoos have been split up for a short time. A third of the penguin colony remains atEdinburghand the remaining birds have been temporarily re-housed in other experienced zoos. Colin Oulton, Bird Team Leader at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Although it will be an extraordinary site to see 29 keepers walking through Edinburgh Zoo each with a Gentoo penguin tucked under their arm, it’s actually the quickest and kindest way to carry out the move. Transferring the penguins in this way means the birds will be handled only once and that the move will be carried out in a matter of minutes.

Gentoo and Chick

Transferring the penguins in this way means the birds will be handled only once and that the move will be carried out in a matter of minutes. Barbary Rock even has the addition of a new pool, recently created for our Gentoo birds, so we’re sure our penguins will be happy in their new home.  And, as Gentoo breeding season is almost here, pebbles and nest rings will be added to the new enclosure next week after the penguins have had time to settle in. “We don’t know if they will breed, but many of the birds are starting to show typical breeding behavior, and we have purposely kept established pairs of penguins together.” Visitors are invited to see Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive, and Iain Valentine, Head of Conservation and Research, lead the p-p-pick up a penguin parade today – Wednesday 21st March – at 10.30am at the Edinburgh Zoo.

Penguin Bullying May Be Why #337 Ran Away

March 18, 2012

This revealing video of a blatant case of penguin bullying is just in from the Tokyo Sea Life Aquarium, and may be the answer to why penguin #337  made a mad dash to freedom from the Japanese complex two weeks ago, and has since evaded all attempts by authorities to bring him back.  Could it be that this sort of bullying is typical at the aquarium? Could interactions of this sort drove the desperate one year old Humboldt to flee?  Is the Aquarium covering up for these bullying penguins?  The Penguin Post thinks there may be more to this story than simply a penguin that ran away from home.