The penguins

La Porte des Profondeurs

The penguins

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Streamlined like a submarine these birds are very skilful swimmers. After a successful hunt for fish such as anchovies and sardines, they can top of their meals with molluscs, which they can pry loose with ease. In the water they have all the advantages of fish as their short legs contain four webbed toes that serve as a rudder, while their wings are used as paddles, flattened and stiff, to ensure that they can move through the water at phenomenal speeds. Once on land, they have a lot of "human" charm.

"It almost looks like they are wearing tuxedos"

No, there is nothing to celebrate; this is not a fancy dress party, but a uniform field; intended to deceive the extraordinary forces of the maritime environment. It is no easy task to 'fool' the leopard seals; killer whales and the sharks: the camouflage makes it impossible for the predators to 'see' the penguins swimming across. But... this is not enough to protect them from other hazards; dirt; overfishing; disturbance of nesting sites.

Hence inclusion on the list of the World Conservation Union as provided by the Convention of Washington, this, since 1975 under the status of protected species.

The penguins in image

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