|MadSci Network: Zoology|
Hi Allison, In order to find the correct information for your questions I was drawn to the website located at http://home.capu.net/~kwelch/pp/articles/creches.html Kevin Welch has done a fine job of presenting a tremendous amount of information on the flightless bird, the Penguin. His answers to your questions can be found in his description of Creches. "A Creche is an accumulation of penguins in close proximity to one another, usually touching. Creches are found almost entirely in the emperor penguin populations, and they are formed by both adults and juveniles. The Antarctic climate is particularly hostile, especially in the depth of winter when temperatures can reach well below freezing. Coupled with brutal winds, the Antarctic shelves are areas in which few animals could survive. Emperor adults, while cradling their single eggs on their feet, form groups of tightly knit populations. Emperor penguin juveniles do the same thing once they are capable of being somewhat independent. In summary, the creche serves as a means for staying warm." In answer to the first part of your question " How do they sleep"? They sleep lying down and standing up. According to K.Welch in regards to whether or not they "stand in circles with their backs to the wind", he claims they do no exhibit too many preferences. This is more directed to Emperors who face extreme temperatures and not so much as far as other species are concerned. As far as" taking turns on the outside to permit those in the middle to sleep," He writes that this is an evolutionary fallacy and states Penguins are'nt concerned for the wellfare of unrelated members of their groups. For a really in depth explanation go to his website and read the information he has about "Emperor Penguin Creches and Altruism". As far as whether or not they "sleep on the water while floating ",he simply states they don't sleep in or on the water. Sea World at Busch Gardens will give you additional information on their Distribution and Habitat, Physical Characteristics, Scientific Classification, Senses and Adaptations for an Aquatic Environment. You can also learn about their Diet and Eating Habits, Reproduction, Hatching and Care of Chicks, Communication and Causes of Death. Sea World strives to provide an enthusiastic, imaginative, and intellectually stimulating atmosphere to help students reach their academic potential. http://www.seaworld.org/Penguins/pageone.html www.seaworld.org / www.buschgardens.org New Zealand also has a great site on Penguin species their status and conservation. http://www.penguin.net.nz/ Hope you enjoy the wealth of information concerning The Penguin. June Wingert Mad Scientist
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Zoology.