Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Penguins are in interesting social breed

The latest email circulating through my family has to do with penguins. Penguins are an interesting breed because of their high level of social interactions. And, penguins can be known for their seemingly "agonistic displays ... which are intended to confront or drive off, or alternately appease and avoid conflict with, other individuals." Agonistic is defined as argumentative, aggressive or defensive social interaction.

So, the question posed to me today, "Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica - where do they go?"


It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintaining a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life. If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into and buried. The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing: "Freeeeze a jolly good fellow." Then they kick him in the ice hole.

Learn more about the penguin from the great Wikipedia reference. Read up on the breeding habits of penguins.

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