About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Do penguins make good pets?

@birdsunlimited are penguins a good pet? ~ @lyssalenee

Emperor Penguins
Penguins do not make good pets and all species of penguin are protected legally, so it’s not even an option. Penguins are best off in the wild. Zoos and Aquariums are able to provide large enclosures with filtered air, controlled temperatures, a fresh saltwater area to swim and a dry area to rest. They are also able to keep the penguins in a colony, which they prefer, and provide lots of fresh fish to eat. In the wild, penguins might live 15 to 20 years. Protected in captivity, they can live much longer.

Great Auks
According to the IPCWG Web Site: “World-wide there are 17 species of penguin, all of which breed in the Southern hemisphere. The name is believed to have originated from the Welsh "pen gwyn" which means white head. The name was originally applied to Great Auks, which are flightless birds that lived in the northern hemisphere, before being hunted to extinction in the 19th Century. Great Auks looked similar to penguins, and were also unable to fly, which is why they were killed off so easily by sailors who used them for food.”

Most penguins have the same egg shaped body and black back and white belly or tuxedo coloring. There shape is perfect for swimming and the coloring is good camouflage. Viewed from above they blend in to the water. Viewed from below they blend in with the sky. Penguins also have a much heavier and stronger skeleton than birds that fly, to allow them to dive easier for fish. And their feathers act as a waterproof shield and insulation against cold wind.

To read more about these fascinating birds go to the Web Page by Mike Bingham, Organisation for the Conservation of Penguins.
 
Thank you for following me on twitter @birdsunlimited and for the great question! Sarah

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