|Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere. The number of penguin species has been and still is a matter of debate. Depending on which authority is followed, biodiversity varies between 16 and 19 living species, all in the subfamily Spheniscinae. Some sources consider the White-flippered Penguin a separate Eudyptula species, while others treat it as a subspecies of the Little Penguin; the actual situation seems to be more complicated. Similarly, it is still unclear whether the Royal Penguin is merely a color morph of the Macaroni penguin. Also possibly eligible to be treated as a separate species is the Northern population of Rockhopper penguins. Although all penguins are native to the southern hemisphere, they are not, contrary to popular belief, found only in cold climates, such as Antarctica. In fact, only a few species of penguin actually live so far south. Three species live in the temperate zone; one lives as far north as the Galápagos Islands (the Galápagos Penguin). The largest living species is the Emperor Penguin: adults average about 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) tall and weigh 35 kg (75 lb) or more. The smallest penguin species is the Little Blue Penguin (also known as the Fairy Penguin or the Blue Penguin), which stands around 40 cm tall (16 in) and weighs 1 kg (2.2 lb). Generally larger penguins retain heat better, and thus inhabit colder regions, while smaller penguins are found in temperate or even tropical climates (see also Bergmann's Rule). Some prehistoric species attained enormous sizes, becoming as high or as heavy as an adult human; see below for more. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid, and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. They spend half of their life on land and half in the oceans. Penguins seem to have no fear of humans and have approached groups of explorers without hesitation. This is probably on account of there being no land predators in Antarctica or the nearby offshore islands that prey on or attack penguins. Instead, penguins are at risk at sea from predators such as the leopard seal. In the sea it is warmer, than on the shore. Perhaps, they possibly don’t get the warmth from the icy cold. By diving, it is not that the penguin jumps into a hothouse, but now the difference in temperature is just forty degrees. However this is just amazing: humans would not be able to withstand such a bathing even for ten minutes. And the penguins swim in the icy water for hours. And they dive deep into water upto about 10 - 20 meters. They come out for 2 to 3 minutes, and the large penguins for 5-10 minutes from under the water. They row with wings from the front and from the top backwards and downwards as if they “fly” in water: 36 kilometers per hour is not a bad speed for any swimmer. Strong muscles on the paws and chest make it possible for them to flap their rowing wings two-three times per second. It is not easy to work the wings this much fast in the water.
A group of biologists from the California Academy of Sciences gave new life to a balding penguin, by developing a wet suit, writes the Daily Telegraph.
Pierre, an African penguin stopped entering into cold water since it started balding because the feathers no longer protected the 25 year old penguin from cold. So, the scientists wanted to help the penguin by changing his suit. The company "Oceanic Worldwide" developed the wet suit. Pam Schaller, the oldest aquatic biologist at the Academy, stated that the new suit covers the body of Pierre and has special openings for his wings and she also observed the penguin to understand the drawbacks of suit, after which, the suit was redesigned on many occasions to ideally fit the body shape of penguin. Some of the biologists had apprehensions that remaining penguins would stop accepting Pierre as a member of the colony due to the suit but it did not happen. Presently, Pierre once again gained weight, feathers started growing and it may be possible that it may soon manage without the suit.
Although no one usually creates suits for penguins the clothing idea for animals is quite widespread. Many cats and dogs are seen strolling wearing dresses and jackets. Many shops are available, which specialize in clothes for animals. Most often, small and short-haired dogs need clothes. In winter, before a stroll, owners carefully make the animals wear the coats, which protects the animal from the cold. In the rainy season, clothes on large and long-haired dogs save the owners from the extra work of giving an additional bath to the animals.|