Sunday, August 06, 2006


Baby Penguins For my birthday, Andrew adopted me a penguin at the San Francisco Zoo. We got to go meet the penguins a few weeks ago. They even let us hang out with the little baby penguins. The baby penguins are shedding their fluffy fur and growing their adult feathers so lots of them look like they have little mohawks. The keepers separate the baby penguins from the adult ones so they can socialize the babies and show them that a person is the alpha penguin. (The penguin in this picture spent a lot of time standing on my shoes.)

Penguin ThievesThe zoo has about fifty Magellan pengins. The penguins usually pair-bond (although some females will consort with more than one gentleman due to the gender imbalance). Each pair of penguins will live in one burrow. Here, you can see some penguins going through everyone else's burrows looking for neat stuff. The keeper said that there are even some pairs of gay penguins.

Napoleon the PenguinThe penguins all have distinct personalities, so it's pretty easy to tell them apart. (As a cheat sheet, they have color-coded tags on their wings - females are tagged on the right, males on the left, with a variety of colors.) This penguin is named for Napoleon Dynamite, because he often would have a look on his face like "I can do whatever I want". This is especially obvious with the baby penguins learning to swim. Some of them take to it right away but others need to be thrown in the water a whole bunch before they learn.

(flickr photos)

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