Penguin (spheniscidae): The penguin, known as the “boat of the sea”, is the oldest poultry and the largest non-flying bird on the planet. They are likely to be in the world before the ice is put on the earth. Antarctica settled down. There are 18 species of penguins in the world, most of which are distributed in the southern hemisphere. Mainly living in the southern hemisphere, belonging to the penguin, penguin family. It is characterized by the inability to fly; the feet are born in the lowermost part of the body, so they are in an upright position; there are squats between the toes; the squats (other birds with their toes); the forelimbs are fin-shaped; the feathers are short to reduce friction and turbulence; A layer of air is left for insulation. The back is black and the abdomen is white. The main difference between the various species is the head color and individual size.

Penguins can live and breed in the cold of -60 °C. On the land, it is like a western gentleman wearing a tuxedo, walking up the road, shaking it, encountering danger, falling and climbing, and being embarrassed. But in the water, the short wings of the penguin became a powerful “paddle” with a speed of 25-30 kilometers per hour. You can swim 160 kilometers a day. It mainly feeds on krill, squid, and small fish.

History of species
In 1488, Portuguese sailors first discovered penguins in the Cape of Good Hope near southern Africa. But the earliest recorded penguin was the historian Piga Fetta. In 1520, he rode a large group of penguins on the Patagonian coast on the Magellan fleet, when they called it a goose. Most of the penguin species described earlier are the species that live in the southern temperate zone. By the end of the 18th century, scientists had named six penguins, and found that the real life in the Antarctic ice sheet was in the 19th and 20th centuries. For example, the king penguin was named only in 1844, and the Yellow-browed Penguin was named in 1953. The penguin is obese and its original name is obese. But because they often stand on the shore, as if they are looking at something, people call this obese bird a penguin. And because the front of the penguin is very similar to the Chinese word “enterprise”, the translated name is called a penguin.

In 1887, Monzbill proposed a theory that penguins may be independent of other birds and evolved from reptiles alone. The fins of the penguins are not formed by the variation of the wings of the birds, but by the direct evolution of the forelimbs of the reptiles. The penguins have never experienced the flight stage. Later, scientists discovered a penguin-like animal fossil in the Antarctic. It is about 1 meter high and weighs 9 kilograms. It is characterized by amphibians. This finding seems to confirm Mengzbil’s speculation. [1]

In 1981, Japan also discovered a penguin-like seabird fossil. Experts believe that this is a fossil of the original penguin that is not flying for 30 million years. Perhaps it is the prehistoric ancestor of modern penguins. [1]

In recent years, after studying the structure of the crow fossils in the northern hemisphere, ornithologists have suggested that a sea crow living along the coast of the Americas 30 million years ago may be closely related to the origin of the penguin. This extinct sea crow is also a seabird that does not fly. Scientists believe that although penguins and crows, one living in the southern hemisphere and one living in the northern hemisphere, have many similarities in their skeletons. [1]

From the above evidence, the ancestor of the penguin is an animal that cannot fly. However, some zoologists have different views on this. Based on years of research data, they assert that the ancestors of the penguins should fly. Because the body structure of modern penguins can still find the imprint of the distant ancestors they will fly to future generations.

Scientists unearthed some of the fossil remains of giant tropical penguins on the southern coast of Peru. This is an extinct penguin that is at least 1.5 meters tall and is so shocking that the researchers are so big. Even the largest penguin living on Earth, the emperor penguin, about 1.2 meters tall, is inferior in front of it. [1]

In addition, this giant penguin is the longest bird in all known waterfowl. Its scorpion is 18 cm long and more than twice as long as the skull. It is estimated that this giant penguin lives about 36 million years ago.

In addition to giant penguins, paleontologists have discovered another species of extinct tropical penguins on the southern coast of Peru. This tropical penguin is about 0.9 meters tall and is about the same size as the modern emperor penguin. They lived in ancient times about 42 million years ago and are one of the oldest known penguin species. [1]

The researchers said that the fossil remains of these two penguins are not only the most complete, but also the earliest wreckage found so far. They provide a new perspective on the evolution of modern penguins and the location and history of penguins in the ocean.

Before discovering these fossil remains, scientists have always believed that penguins have been in high latitudes until 10 million years ago before they first traveled to the low-latitude equatorial waters. However, the newly discovered fossil remains have pushed this time forward for 30 million years. [1]

Scientists believe that since the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago, the Earth has experienced a period of highest temperature in history. From about 34 million years ago, after the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet, the temperature of the earth gradually began to decrease. Both penguins live in the equatorial waters much earlier than when the earth began to cool down.

A team of scientists from Peru, Argentina, and the United States conducted a detailed study of these fossil remains discovered in 2005. The findings were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Julia Clarke, a paleontologist at the University of North Carolina in the United States, said: “We used to tend to think that penguins are animals that are used to the low temperature environment – even the little blue penguins who live in the equatorial region today,” Clark said. “But these newly discovered fossils can be traced back to the hottest time on Earth for the past 65 million years. The evidence suggests that penguins have reached the low latitudes 30 million years earlier than previously estimated.” [1]

At the same time, the various characteristics of the two new penguins in the evolution process, as well as their age and distribution, also make it necessary for researchers to rewrite the entire “family tree” of penguins. Unlike the penguins that live on Earth, the ancient penguins of great size have long, narrow baboons, especially giant penguins, which are particularly long, like spears. Clark guessed that this cockroach was probably used to help tall, giant penguins swallow large prey. Not only that, the ancient penguins can also dive deep into the water, and can gracefully “glidle” under the water like modern “relatives”, while catching small fish while gliding. [1]

Although it can be seen from the two extinct penguin species that they are willing to leave the low-temperature waters with higher latitudes in the southern hemisphere and live in places with higher water temperatures, Dr. Clark said that it is not possible to conclude that the high temperature environment. Dr. Clarke said: “These species found in Peru are the early branches of the penguin family. For modern penguins, they are relatively distant distant relatives.” She said: “Global warming occurs in a relatively short period. In many time periods, the data obtained from these new fossil species does not prove that climate warming will not have any negative impact on penguins living on Earth.”[2]

Morphological characteristics
There are 18 independent species of penguins. The largest species is the emperor penguin, which is about 1.1 meters high and weighs more than 35 kilograms. The smallest penguin species is the little blue penguin (also known as the fairy penguin), which is 40 cm tall and weighs 1 kg. It has its own unique structure. The density of penguin feathers is three to four times larger than that of birds of the same size. The role of these feathers is to regulate body temperature. Although the penguin’s feet are basically similar to other flying birds, their bones are hard and their feet are short and flat. This feature matches the short wings of two paddles, allowing the penguin to “fly” under the water. Although the Antarctic is hard to be cold, the penguins have been tempered by tens of millions of years of blizzard, and the feathers of the whole body have become overlapping and closely connected scales. This special feather coat is not only difficult to soak in sea water, but the temperature is below a hundred degrees Celsius, and it is also thought to break the line of defense. The Antarctic has more land and a wider sea surface, and the rich marine plankton has become a abundant source of food for penguins. [1]

Penguin is one of the oldest poultry, and it is likely to settle in Antarctica before it is put on ice. The Antarctic has more land and a wider sea surface. The abundant marine planktonic salt glands can excrete excess salt. Because of the flat cornea, the penguin’s eyes can see things on the bottom of the water and on the surface of the water. Both eyes can transmit images to the brain for telescopic integration to make them look far. Penguins are a type of bird, so penguins have no teeth. The penguin’s tongue and upper jaw are barbed to accommodate swallowing fish and shrimp, but this is not their teeth. [3]

Habitat environment
Penguins usually live south of the equator and can only be seen in places that are inaccessible. Some penguins live in cold places, and some penguins live in tropical places. But penguins don’t really like hot weather, they only live in the cold climate. So, in the icy ocean off the coast of Antarctica, the most penguins live there. The habitat of penguins varies by species and distribution: emperor penguins like to inhabit ice shelves and sea ice; Adelie penguins and golden penguins can be used on both sea ice and exposed rocks in ice-free areas. Life; penguins in the sub-Antarctic, most like to inhabit rocks on ice-free areas, and often use stones to build nests. [1]

Living habit

Penguins feed on marine zooplankton, mainly Antarctic krill, and sometimes prey on some brachiopods, squid and small fish. Penguins have a good appetite. Each penguin can eat an average of 0.75 kilograms of food a day, mainly Antarctic krill. Therefore, penguins play an important role in the Southern Ocean food chain as predators. Penguins prey on the Antarctic about 33.17 million tons of krill, accounting for 90% of the total consumption of Antarctic birds, equivalent to half of the whales prey on krill. [1]

The penguin’s temperament is generous, generous and very cute. Although the penguin’s appearance is extraordinary, it seems a bit arrogant, even arrogant, but when people approach them, they do not want to escape, sometimes it seems that if nothing happens, sometimes it seems shameful, overwhelmed, sometimes looking around, whispering, 唧唧喳喳. That kind of honest and a little stupid attitude is really ridiculous. Perhaps, they rarely see people, it is a kind of curiosity. [4]

Penguins can swim in the water flexibly and easily, but this ability may offset their ability to fly. [5]

The penguin is a typical seabird. Although it does not fly, the ability to swim is a super player in birds. Many waterfowl swimming is moving forward in the water by long, sturdy feet. Although the penguin’s feet are long and flawless, they are only used as a rudder to control the direction. The strength of the advance depends on the wings of the two oars. Flying in the water. [6]

Penguins swim very fast, the emperor penguin can swim about 10 kilometers in an hour, and the white-top penguin has a record of 36 kilometers in one hour, which is the fastest among all birds. Penguins often swim with dolphins, that is, snorkeling for a distance, after exposing the water to the air, then dive and continue to swim. In fact, the penguin is also a diving champion among birds. It used to sneak into the water for 18 minutes and sneak into the water 265 meters. [6]

By observing seabirds that are closely related to penguins, scientists have determined that wings suitable for flying are not suitable for diving and swimming. There have been several theories for a long time explaining why penguins cannot fly. One view is that some species have lost their ability to fly because of the lack of predators on the ground. Another point of view is a biomechanical hypothesis: when birds fly and dive, it must use wings for two different tasks. From the assumption of biomechanics, it is impossible to create wings that are both good at both jobs.

Penguins once faced an evolutionary choice of whether to fly in the air or choose to swim flexibly under water. As their wings become more efficient as they dive in the penguins, their ability to fly becomes weaker. At some point, flying becomes very laborious, so the best option is to give up flying and shrink the wings into flippers.

distribution range
Penguins live mainly in the southern hemisphere. There are 17 or 18 species of penguins in the world, most of them in the Antarctic. There are also penguins in Cape Town, a tourist city in the hot African continent. The Hanpoed penguins, Magellanic penguins and black-footed penguins of the genus Pseudomonas are distributed in the temperate regions with lower latitudes. The distribution of the Galapagos penguins is closer to the equator; only the emperor penguins and Ade living completely in the polar regions. Two kinds of penguins. [4]

Breeding method
Life history varies depending on the size of the species and the geographical distribution. The breeding cycle of the same species is also related to latitude. Some species migrate long distances to the inland ancestral battalion nest to lay eggs, and the spotted ring penguins and small blue penguins breed twice a year, and most species only breed once a year. The king penguin breeds twice in three years. King Penguins and Emperor Penguins spawn one egg at a time, while other species produce two, even three. Most penguins breed in the spring and summer of the southern hemisphere. Certain populations of the Papua penguins also breed in winter. Emperor penguins develop for a long time, so they begin to breed in the fall, so that the chicks produce in the summer with the greatest chance of survival.

When penguins enter the group and are out of the group, there are often performances and tweets. When courting couples, there is often a courtship call, and the voice is dimorphic between the sexes. The Cape Horn penguin sounds like a cicada. During the breeding season, Emperor Penguin can find the old nest and the old spouse. Except for the imperial penguin, which is only used by males, all species are hatched by both sexes. During the mating, the penguin group is very lively, screaming and whispering, and when it is hatching, it is silent. The mortality rate of eggs and chicks is determined by factors such as climatic conditions, the percentage of young birds in the reproductive population and predators, and is generally 40-80% of the total number of eggs laid. After spawning, the females often leave the group to the sea for food. After about 10-20 days, they return to replace the male birds, and then rotate each other for one or two weeks. However, female emperor penguins need to walk 80-160 km from the flock to the ocean until they return to the end of the 64-day hatching period. At this time, the Antarctic penguin is in the winter, and the emperor penguins are dependent on each other. It is placed on the foot and hatched, and lives on the fat stored in the body; until the winter is over, after the female emperor penguin returns, the male penguin transfers the young chick to the female emperor penguin.

It takes 24-48 hours for the penguin chick to hatch from the egg shell. After hatching, it shows feeding behavior. Put the mouth into the mouth of the bird and take it into the liquid crustacean or fish food. At the beginning, the young bird was hidden under the parent bird; after growing up, the young bird stayed on the side of the parent bird. The period from hatching to complete independence of the young bird takes 2 months in the smaller species, 5 and a half months in the emperor penguin, and 12-14 months in the king penguin. Semi-mature young chicks will be in large groups and will be taken care of by adult birds, as in the “nursery”.

Adult birds change all feathers once a year. Do not enter the water when moulting, usually hiding in a sheltered area outside the flock of birds. The penguin swims quickly and uses the fins as a propeller. When you need to advance at high speed, you often jump off the surface of the water. Each jump can advance 1 meter or more in the air and breathe during this period. On the land, the gait is awkward, but the speed is very fast, and the former limb is a balancer. It can move flexibly on rocks, and can slide on the abdomen on ice and snow, with the forefoot and forelimb as propellers. Penguins can be oriented by the position of the sun. [1]

Species status
There are not many types of Antarctic penguins, but the number is quite impressive. According to long-term observation and estimation by ornithologists, there are nearly 120 million penguins in the Antarctic, accounting for 87% of the total number of penguins in the world and 90% of the total number of Antarctic seabirds. The largest number is the Adelaide penguin, with about 50 million, followed by capped penguins, about 3 million, and the least number of emperor penguins, about 570,000. [4]

Leopard seals, as long as the penguin is launched, it will quickly swim past and eat the penguin. The most terrible thing is the seal. A leopard seal can eat more than 15 Adelie penguins a day, but it is usually a penguin that catches weak or sick. The big skua and the South Great, they will wait for the opportunity to kill unprotected penguin babies, sea lions, seals, killer whales, etc. will also pose a threat to penguins.

Related reports

Suffering from bird flu
On May 7, 2014, an international research team said that the H11N2 avian influenza virus was found in the Adelie penguins in Antarctica, a previously unknown new avian influenza virus. The news came out, causing the attention of the scientific community and the public. It is worth mentioning that according to the report of the scientific research organization, the new virus found in the Antarctic penguin may have survived and evolved for decades, but it does not cause the penguin to become ill, nor does it show infection to others or other Symptoms of mammals, it is reported that the researchers reported in the American journal Microbiology that they collected about 300 blood samples of Adelie penguins in Antarctica from January to February 2013. The H11N2 avian influenza virus was found in 8 samples.

Aaron Hurt, the author of the paper and a senior scientist at the World Health Organization’s Influenza Reference and Research Cooperation Center, said that although the flu antibodies were found in penguin blood samples, it was found that Antarctic penguins or Antarctic birds carry the bird flu virus. Times. When comparing the virus to the existing human and animal influenza virus database for genome sequences, the researchers found that the H11N2 avian influenza virus is different from any other known avian influenza virus. Researchers have speculated that it may have survived and evolved on Antarctic penguins for decades. Hutt said that penguins carrying the H11N2 avian influenza virus did not show symptoms. In addition, when the virus was used to attack the ferrets, the ferrets were not infected. Ferrets are commonly used animals for influenza virus infection testing, so this suggests that the H11N2 avian influenza virus may not infect humans or other mammals. In addition, Hutt said that the discovery of Antarctic penguins carrying the avian flu virus “causes many unanswered questions”, including the frequency of transmission of various avian influenza virus strains to the Antarctic, and whether the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus may spread to the Antarctic. Which animals or ecosystems the H11N2 avian influenza virus will survive, and whether it will be naturally frozen and resuscitated in the winter. [8]

Limited time broadcast
In May 2014, Baidu Encyclopedia and Beijing Zoo reached a deep strategic cooperation, moving the animals live online, opening the “network zoo”, the penguin is the first animal to settle in. Baidu Encyclopedia cooperates with Xiaodu I and Ear Cloud Video Camera Technology. From May 17th to June 1st, Penguin Live is started every day from 10:00 am to 18:00 pm. Other times due to light and penguin rest, live broadcast is not available. open. At that time, as long as you search for the “Penguin” Baidu Encyclopedia entry, you can see the penguins in the Penguin Pavilion of the Beijing Zoo.

Test tube reproduction
In August 2014, the world’s first “test tube penguin” was born in California, USA. This newborn female Magellanic penguin was born from frozen sperm. It has no name yet, and the researcher is “184”. Researchers hope to increase the species diversity of penguins through artificial insemination. The Magellan penguin is mostly distributed in South America. It was first discovered by the famous navigator Magellan in 1519. The later generations of the scientific community named it the species. [9]

Loss of taste
In the first few years of 2015, researchers have had similar findings on a new study of penguins, and the research team believes that they have uncovered many of the reasons why penguins have lost their taste.

The disappearance of taste is in fact blamed on heredity. If the genes don’t work properly, they will not be able to recognize the taste properly. To be sure, the research team found genetic answers in some penguins that lacked taste receptors. Many of these penguin taste receptor genes have been reversed, and a series of random mutations have been passed down from generation to generation, eventually leading to complete failure of the original gene.
The penguin gene has this damage because their genes are constantly attacked by mutations, and all genes have a tendency to confuse. It is necessary to maintain the gene sequence. If the gene changes too much, it will not work properly, resulting in death or lack of evolutionary adaptability. This means that in the case of a loss of gene function, all genes have a tendency to fail within a few generations. In the history of human evolution, the retention of taste receptors is very valuable. Researchers believe that the reason why penguins lose their taste receptors is very simple: the taste receptor becomes very inefficient at low temperatures. This means that when a penguin bites a cold fish, any function that accepts fresh and delicious receptors is immediately hindered by the low temperature of the food itself. So in the natural evolution of thousands of years, many penguin species no longer waste energy on taste receptors that have never been used. [10]

Anti-ice wings, November 24th, the Penguin in Antarctica lives in an extremely cold environment, the temperature may drop to minus 40 degrees Celsius, while the penguin’s wings can swim at a speed of 40 meters per second, never freeze. . American scientists have studied the penguin’s two-wing structure and found that its feathers are waterproof. If this principle is applied to the aircraft, it can prevent the wings from freezing and reduce the risk of crash.
It is reported that researchers from the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) analyzed different types of penguin feathers provided by SeaWorld San Diego and found that the micropores on the surface of the penguin feathers preserve air. The glands at the bottom of the tail secrete oil to cover the feathers, so that the water droplets cannot penetrate into the feathers and flow away.

At the same time, the water drops on the surface of the feathers in a spherical shape, and the heat dissipation rate is slow, so it does not condense into ice.

Once the aircraft wing, flaps and rudder freeze, it may cause a crash. At present, airlines use chemical de-icing agents, but they are costly and pollute the environment. Scientists hope to imitate the penguin wings and develop new anti-icing wings. [11]