ANTARCTICA: EMPIRE OF THE PENGUIN® ICY FUN FACTS
6/1/2013 10:01:00 AM
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PENGUIN AND ANTARCTICA: EMPIRE OF THE PENGUIN® ICY FUN FACTS
At SeaWorld® Orlando, guests become Antarctic explorers when they step foot into an all-new realm. They’ll be immersed in the sights and sounds of Antarctica, taking an all-family adventure ride to join a colony of more than 200 penguins in their 30-degree world.
A few thrilling and chilling facts about penguins and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.
The Particulars on Penguins
Nearly 250 penguins from four species – king, Adelie, gentoo and rockhopper - live in the brand new, state-of-the-art habitat and adventure at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.
- Large penguin with a white band on its head.
- Swim at speeds up to 25 mph, making them the fastest of all penguins.
- Third largest species of penguin.
- The largest penguin at Antarctica. Black head, chin, and throat, with vivid orange, tear-shaped patches on each side of the head. The orange coloration extends to the upper chest.
- Travel in small groups of 5–20 when foraging for food and are known to dive as deep as 1,000 feet.
- Have the longest breeding cycle of all the penguin species, lasting 14-16 months. They incubate their eggs and chicks on top of their warm feet. Parents take turns incubating the egg.
- The classic-looking penguin … medium-sized with "tuxedo" appearance.
- Scientists believe Adelies navigate the ocean using the sun, adjusting for its changing position in the sky throughout the day.
- Build their nests with stones and are known to steal rocks and pebbles from the nests of neighboring penguins.
- Easy to spot at Antarctica because of their brightly colored crests and red eyes.
- To avoid predators, rockhoppers launch themselves like rockets — sometimes leaping nearly three times their height – out of the ocean.
- Get their common name because they’re often seen hopping from rock to rock on land.
Penguins thrive in Antarctica — the coldest, windiest, highest and driest place on the planet.
Do polar bears hunt penguins? Nope. They live at opposite ends of the world! All penguins are found in the Southern Hemisphere.
The penguin’s thick layer of blubber provides awesome insulation against the cold. Their coat of feathers acts like shingles on a roof; overlapping feathers create a surface nearly impenetrable to wind or water.
Penguins vocalize and perform physical behaviors called displays. They communicate for some of the same reasons we do — to find family and friends!
Penguins dive 450 times a day to find their food and collectively consume 300–400 lbs. of fish each day, including favorites like herring and capelin.
Did you know that 20,000 lbs. of fresh snow will fall daily for the penguins living at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin? That’s 10 tons!
The lighting in the penguin habitat at Antarctica changes almost daily, according to the light cycle of the Southern Hemisphere.
Penguins are one of 40 species of birds that are “flightless” - but they are tremendous flyers underwater! Guests can see penguins dive, swim and “fly” underwater from three different underwater viewing levels.
Look for the bubble trails left behind by the penguins as they swim through the water. Research indicates that some penguins use air as a lubricant provided by tiny air bubbles released from under their feathers to gain enough speed to leap out of the water and onto the ice shelf.
Penguins can adapt to many areas, but they’re no match for global threats like pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction.
- Winter and summer seasons are reversed from the seasons in Orlando.
- This attention to environmental detail is one of the reasons SeaWorld has one of the world’s most successful penguin breeding programs in the world.
The Continent of Antarctica
- The Antarctica ice sheet is the biggest chunk of ice around. Its thickest area is nearly 15,600 ft. deep – that’s about as deep as the highest peak in the Alps!
- 70% of the world’s supply of freshwater is stored in Antarctica.
- Like the Sahara Desert, Antarctica receives less than two inches of precipitation a year. Some areas haven’t seen anything even close to a raindrop or snowflake in more than 2 million years!
- To date, the total number of parties to the Antarctic Treaty stands at 50, representing about two-thirds of the human population. The Antarctic researchers of today stand committed to the same principles that formed the Treaty more than 50 years ago: scientific freedom, multinational cooperation and a deep respect for nature.