“The Great Penguin Rally at Antarctica” by Ty Curtis

Well they march out in the snow in black and white tuxedos, and they come together in an icy valley. The weather there is cold; about 45 degrees below. But that’s the way that they like it at the penguin rally. Almost sounds like a party in the snow, doesn’t it? Well it is a get-together of sorts, with lots of slipping and sliding, and cold birds colliding!

These natives of Antarctica have adapted to some of the harshest conditions imaginable. Oddly enough that is where penguins are most suited to survive. It is not that they don’t have any challenges down there. No, they do indeed. They are actually part of the food their chain. But you won’t find any complaining penguins. They seem to like their chances in this environment.

Penguins are equipped to handle the subfreezing temperatures of Antarctica. They have a thick layer of fat below their feathers. This layer serves two main purposes; to insulate their warm bodies against the cold temperatures, and to serve as a food store when locating food becomes difficult. So the next time you see a chubby penguin, don’t laugh. This guy is probably one of the most likely penguins to survive the long winters of the South Pole.

A great deal has been written about the way penguins travel through the snow. Some videos and documentaries refer to their movement as a march. However, if you watch them carefully for any length of time, you will see that most penguins move rather clumsily on the ice. The way they move would best be described as waddling. They walk on the snow at about 1 km per hour. Sometimes they even propel themselves along on their bellies. That’s alright by them. This type of movement saves precious energy. When in danger, Penguins can easily pick up their pace. A penguin in its home environment can easily move faster than a man through the snow.

Where this fine-feathered bird truly excels in movement, is in the water. All of its in-the-snow awkwardness is replaced with graceful flight when it is in the water. While in the water some types of penguins can swim at speeds of up to 12 km per hour. At these speeds they can leap out of the water and glide for about half a second. Most types of penguins will only do this when they are being pursued by a predator from below.

With all of its humorous peculiarities, the penguin was an easy selection when deciding which animal to include on our personalized children’s music CD called Sea Animal Adventures. From their unique, tuxedo-like appearance, to their awkward waddling on the ice, these birds of Antartica have no problem capturing the interest of adults and children alike. One of the personalized children’s songs on the Sea Animal Adventures CD is called “Penguin Rally.” In this personalized child’s song we have shown how much like us the penguins sometimes behave. Or, is it that we sometimes behave like the penguins? After all, who was here first, humans or penguins?

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