Archive for January, 2014

Emperor Penguins Looking For Protection

January 22, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that in response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the emperor penguin may warrant Endangered Species Act protection based on threats from climate change. The most ice-dependent of all penguin species, emperor penguins are threatened by the loss of their sea-ice habitat and declining food availability off Antarctica.

“Our carbon pollution is melting the sea-ice habitat emperor penguins need to survive,” said Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Center. “Emperor penguins are the icons of wild Antarctica, and they need rapid cuts in carbon pollution and Endangered Species Act protections if they’re going to have a future.”

Emperor penguins rely on sea ice for raising their chicks and foraging. In parts of Antarctica where sea ice is rapidly disappearing, emperor penguins populations are declining or have been lost entirely. The emperor penguin colony featured in the film March of the Penguins has declined by more than 50 percent, and the Dion Island colony in the Antarctic Peninsula has disappeared. One recent study projected that nearly half of the world’s emperor penguins may disappear by mid-century without drastic cuts in carbon pollution.

Warming ocean temperatures and melting sea ice in the Southern Ocean encircling Antarctica have also diminished the availability of krill — a key food source for emperor penguins. Ocean acidification resulting from the ocean’s absorption of carbon dioxide and industrial krill fisheries further threaten the penguins’ food supply.

In 2006 the Center filed a petition to list 12 penguin species, including the emperor penguin, as threatened or endangered. The agency protected seven penguin species but denied protection to the emperor penguin. In 2011 the Center re-petitioned the Service to protect the emperor based on new scientific information demonstrating the species is imperiled. In today’s finding the Service agreed to conduct a full scientific status review to determine if the emperor penguin should be protected under the Act.

Endangered Species Act listing of the emperor penguin would offer greater protections against the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change and the industrial overfishing of key prey species. For example, if penguins are listed, future approval of fishing permits for U.S.-flagged vessels operating on the high seas would require minimization of impacts on penguins. The Act also compels federal agencies to ensure that their actions — including those generating large volumes of carbon pollution — do not jeopardize endangered species and their habitat.



Valentine’s Day Penguin Gifts

January 22, 2014

Our Valentine’s Day Penguin treats now have their own section and range in the dozens of penguins. From Valentine Penguin Cards, Watches, Plush of all sizes, Jewelry, Houseware and more.  So if you’re looking for a special, romantic penguin themed gift for that penguin loving special someone then waddle on over to our Penguin Valentine’s Day Section.cozycutievalentineplushpenguin

Noodles and Albie In Homestretch

January 22, 2014

After almost a year in the making all the wonderful oil color paintings by artist Liz Bannish have been completed.  The much anticipated kids picture book Noodles & Albie (The Penguin and The Fish) will be going through e-book and print book layout and design over the next month in preparation for its debut.  Noodles & Albie is the story, by Eric Bennett, of a young penguin (Noodles) who is afraid of the water.  When he finally gets up enough courage to take go for a swim, he invariably gets lost at sea and is befriended by a colorful and sassy fish named Albie who helps him find his way home.  Along the way they both grow and learn the true meaning of friendship, while running into a cast of colorful underwater characters.  In conjunction with the story Ms. Bannish has created 14 original paintings.  Look for the official debut of Noodles and Albie sometime in March 2014 available via the Penguin Gift Shop at Penguin Place.


Baby Penguin Named Peyton In Omaha

January 22, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that Peyton Manning certainly gained some fans in Omaha throughout the past week and now he can add arguably the most adorable one to that growing list.

The Denver Broncos quarterback uttered “Omaha” over 40 times in the team’s AFC Divisonal round win over the San Diego Chargers, and the Nebraska city is basking in all of the unexpected attention. Omaha can’t thank Manning enough for all of the free advertising, and five businesses in the Nebraska city even pledged to donate $500 to Manning’s charity for every “Omaha” he yelled at the line of scrimmage against the New England Patriots. Manning ended up raising over $24,000.

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha has also jumped on the Manning bandwagon, choosing to name a Rockhopper penguin chick after the quarterback.

“I think the whole world knows how much Nebraskans love football,” Omaha Zoo Director Dennis Pate said in a press release. “It’s fun to hear such a great quarterback chanting out our largest city’s name hundreds of times per game. We get a kick out of it and are happy for Peyton and his team.”

Meet Peyton the penguin below.


Penguin Running Rings Around Itself

January 12, 2014

This wonderful picture of an Adelie penguin on ice who appears to be running rings around itself as one can see via his intricate tracks. The penguin looks like it’s trying to find a way across the various ice floes. But to where we do not know.  The Adelie penguin was pictured as part of US photographer John Weller’s mission to shoot the world’s last remaining pure ocean – the Ross Sea in Antarctica. He started working on the project, named The Last Ocean, with Antarctic Ecologist Dr David Ainley in 2004. Weller’s first short film on the Ross Sea was a finalist in the 2010 Blue Ocean Festival.££-The-Ross-Sea-in-Antarctica-3008504

A Nice Day For A Penguin Wedding

January 12, 2014

You’ve heard of a “white wedding”, well why not a “black and white wedding”?  Well, a  couple did just that on Friday as they tied the knot at Seaworld’s Antarctica: Empire Of The Penguins exhibit. The Penguin Post is happy to announce that Jeff and Susanne Grieve braved the chilly conditions and exchanged their vows in the company of family, snow and a whole lot of penguins. 250 penguins to be exact, and of course they were all dressed for the occasion in their natural black and white tuxedos. The cool wedding in the Antarctic environment was perfect for this couple after meeting in 2012 while working in Antarctica. They said they wanted to recreate the moment where it all started. “Antarctica is a really intense, remote environment, where we met,” Susanne said.  For the time being Seaworld will have to do to replicate that feeling, and the human guests all agreed that it was a great thing this was a heart-warming occasion, because it was a constant 32 degrees throughout the wedding ceremony. The couple said they hope to return to the real Antarctica one day, but are planning a warm weather honeymoon.1389479209983

Emperor Penguins Adapting To Climate Change

January 10, 2014

Climate change has made a profound impact on thousands of the plants and animal species. The threat triggered by the rapidly changing climate continues to reveal itself in new ways.  But, the Penguin Post has learned that a new study by the British Antarctic Survey scientists, which was based on satellite observations of four emperor penguins, shows a ray of hope for the sea bird as they seem to be adapting themselves to the changing environment.

“This is a new breeding behavior we’re witnessing here,” said Peter Fretwell, a geographer with the British Antarctic Survey and lead study author. “This has totally taken us by surprise. We didn’t know they could go and breed up on the ice shelves,” Fretwell said.

The current study highlights the extraordinary change in the behavior of the emperor penguins that breed during the harsh Antarctic winter when the emperor penguins breed.  

The satellite observation reveals that the penguin colonies drifted from their traditional breeding grounds to much thicker floating ice shelves that surround the continent. This change in the breeding behavior occurred when the sea ice formed later than usual.

Scientists at the Australian Antarctic Division and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego in California also worked on the current study.

Fretwell explains that these birds breed on sea ice as this gives them an easy access to waters where they can forage for food. One such satellite observation of the penguins during 2008, 2009 and 2010 revealed that the annual sea ice was thick enough to maintain a colony of penguins. But in 2011 and 2012, it was surprising to see that sea ice did not form even a month after the breeding season started. At this point of tome the birds were seen going to the nearby floating ice shelf to raise their chicks.

“What’s particularly surprising is that climbing up the sides of a floating ice shelf – which at this site can be up to 30 metres high – is a very difficult manoeuvre for emperor penguins. Whilst they are very agile swimmers they have often been thought of as clumsy out of the water,” he continues to say.

Since these birds heavily depend on sea ice for breeding purpose, they were listed as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “red list” of endangered species.

This latest discovery may help scientists to frame the future of these scientists. The team plan on finding if  other species are also adapting themselves to the changing environment conditions.



Sydney The Poketti Penguin

January 10, 2014

The honor of our first new penguin product of 2014 goes to our adorable Sydney, the Poketti Penguin Plush Pillow with the convenient pocket in the back.  This cute comfy penguin pillow is the namesake of her designer, 13 year old Sydney Loew from California.  Together with her family  Sydney was able to bring the first series of Poketti plush pillows to life via a Kickstarter campaigne that ended successfully last Summer.   The idea behind Sydney by Sydney is simple. A cute looking, pillow styled plush toy with a pocket, perfect for storing notebooks, smartphones or anything else that might fit.  Considering all the little gadgets folks carry around these days, Sydney gives you a perfect excuse to carry a penguin plush as well.  Not that we need any excuses for that, but now at least you have one more.



Noodles & Albie Pics In The Bag

January 9, 2014

It took 9 months for the 13 original paintings that bring Noodles & Albie to life to get completed.  But, to see these wonderful illustrations is to know that it was well worth the wait.  Last week, with a big smile on her face Liz Bannish handed over her final painting, but not before making a couple of final touch-ups as per instructions from my 6 year old daughter Rose who felt Albie definitely needed a bit more flair.  Now, with all the pictures in the bag it’s time to begin working on the layout of both the e-book and the print version of this fun kids book.  We’re hoping have Noodles & Albie ready for the penguin loving public by Valentine’s Day.

Liz Paints Penguins

Liz Paints Penguins

Penguin Huddle More Like Penguin Gridlock

January 9, 2014
To stay warm and conserve energy during the breeding season emperor penguins form huddles, with thousands of birds packing in close together. Now the Penguin Post has learned that new research describes the movement more like “waves in a traffic jam.”

Emperor penguins, the largest of all the penguin species, have a unique pattern during the breeding season. During this time, the males incubate the eggs, tucking them in an abdominal pouch just above their feet. In order to keep warm and conserve energy during the breeding season emperor penguins form huddles, with thousands of birds packing in close together.  While balancing an on egg on its feet, a male bird is unable to move fast. However, the bird can take small, careful steps. The problem is that just one step can set off a wave of motion that passes through the huddle. This wave moves like cars in a traffic jam, according to a new study.The study was conducted by Daniel Zitterbart of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany. Their findings have been published in the New Journal of Physics. According to the study, every 30 to 60 seconds, emperor penguins in a huddle take small steps that travel through the group like a wave. The researchers described this as penguins acting like cars in a traffic jam. However, instead of only moving forward, each bird could move in one of six directions. When a bird takes a single step that motion results in a cascade of birds each taking a step, with a small time lag between one bird’s action and the next birds.

Penguin Huddle

Penguin Huddle