Each year, the 25th of April is celebrated as World Penguin Day, as the date roughly coincides with the migration of these enigmatic creatures.
Living in some of the harshest environments on earth, penguins begin their annual migration northward around this time. These flightless birds have evolved and adapted to aquatic life with their wings serving as flippers. The number of different species is thought to be somewhere between 17 and 20, with all species residing in the southern hemisphere, particularly in Antarctica, as well as South Africa, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, the Falkland Islands and the Galapagos Islands.
The most famous penguin is the also the largest – the majestic Emperor Penguin can grow to an astonishing height of 1.1 meters (3 feet 7 inches) tall. Emperor Penguins, with their distinctive yellow markings (as pictured above) can weigh in at up to 35 kg (75 lb). By contrast the smallest species is the aptly named Little Blue Penguin which stands at just 40 cm (16 inches) tall.
World Penguin Day is a great opportunity to learn more about these intriguing creatures and to appreciate one of the very spices that can survive the ravages of inhospitable Antarctica, where temperatures dip to as low as -50C. Take the time to learn about these creatures’ habits, their habitats and their quest for survival. There are a wealth of penguin-themed documentaries out there to both educate and captivate the whole family. Or adopt a penguin via the WWF who raise money to establish marine protected areas as their main food source of krill is diminishing as a result of the warming of both the Antarctic Sea and Southern Ocean.
Why not dress in monochrome for the day, to mimic the black and white of penguins – although maybe donning a full tuxedo is taking it a little too far!
Or maybe tell a few penguin jokes;
Q. Why don't Penguins like rock music? A. They only like sole.
Q. What do Penguins sing on a birthday? A. Freeze a jolly good fellow.
Q. How do Penguins drink their cola? A. On the rocks.