SOUTH AMERICA – King Penguins are on the move again.
Penguins, like human beings, have stellar parenting skills. In South Georgia (way down the map, off the coast of South America), temperatures can get pretty cold. Accordingly, King Penguins have a solution for making sure their young don’t freeze to death.
Instinctively, these adult penguins come together to form a protective shield of warmth around their babies. This massive collection of “bodies” provides enough heat to ensure the young birds survive the cold temperatures (see the above image for an aerial shot of their mass huddle).
Parental instinct takes over in the inhospitable climate of the South Atlantic and the chicks with their long, brown, downy coats are made to crowd together to retain their body warmth in the equivalent of bird creches – visible as brown swathes.
Meanwhile their extraordinary parents waddle down to the shore to bring back dinner for their offspring.
The chicks, which take between 10 to 13 months to raise – cannot regulate their body temperature and the parents care for them round the clock for the first three weeks.
The idea that these adult penguins know that they need to take such enormous steps to protect their young is astounding. Below, you can watch these amazingly-majestic birds fast at work: