More than 17,500 animals, including birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and amphibians are counted in the annual census at the London Zoo. The count is a compulsory part of the zoo’s license and the information is used for managing international breeding programs of endangered animals.
(Photo: Robin Cristofari / CNRS / Institut polaire francais IPEV)
Researchers have finally found a long-sought colony of emperor penguins in eastern Antarctica, but they say it’s been split in two due to a glacier break. Moreover, a tally of the 6,000 chicks among these two populations suggests there are more emperor penguin parents in this part of the frozen continent than previously thought.
Emperor penguins can’t fly just by flapping their wings, but they can propel themselves fast enough through Antarctic waters to turn themselves into winged rockets. They do it by releasing tiny bubbles of air from their feathers: The air acts as a lubricant, reducing drag as they swim up from the depths like tuxedoed torpedoes. In fact, engineers have used air bubbles in similar ways to speed the movement of torpedoes through the water.
Approximately 55 African penguins that were found covered in oil were being cleaned by staff from the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds on Wednesday. The penguins, which were found on Robben Island near Cape Town, South Africa, will be released into the wild after cleaning. The oil leaked from the Turkish stricken bulk carrier Seli One, according to the Associated Press.