Galapagos Penguin Shakes Tail Feathers While Basking In The Sun
This adorable penguin is living his life at the last place you would expect to find a penguin. His home is in the Galapagos Islands, almost exactly on the equator. Penguins are generally found in Antarctica and the southern tip of the African continent. But one smaller species of penguin has adapted for life in the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos penguin thrives here because of the abundance of sardines and mullets, their primary food source.
The fish are brought here by the convergence of three strong ocean currents that create a surprisingly cool climate, despite being situated so close to the equator. It is only because of these cooler waters that the penguin survives so easily in this location. This is the only species of penguin that can be found in the northern hemisphere.
This penguin has climbed onto a rock to bask in the sunshine beside a colony of marine iguanas. He shakes his tail feathers in the most adorable way to help remove water. The penguin will warm up and dry his feathers in the sun until he becomes hungry enough to venture back into the water to feed again.
Penguins are flightless birds that have adapted to life in the water instead of the air. Their short wings lack flight feathers but they function extremely well at propelling them through the water as they hunt. Penguins are incredibly agile under the surface and they are able to catch fish easily.
The Galapagos penguin reaches a height of 50cm (20 inches) and a weight of 4.5kg (10lbs). With their distinctive black and white markings that resemble a tuxedo, they are beautiful birds to look at. This penguin happily posed for some Canadian tourists that had been following the shoreline in small, inflatable boat called a panga. The animals in the Galapagos are shown great respect and they have little reason to fear humans. It is often possible to observe them close up if a cautious and slow approach is employed. This penguin cast a curious glance at the visitors occasionally but he was content to close his eyes and relax as they captured pictures and videos. Seeing animals in their natural environment is a thrill beyond anything that can be experienced at a zoo.