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Endangered Encounter: African Penguin

African Penguin

Also known as the Jackass Penguin, and not for its behavior, but for the donkey like sound it makes. Now this vocalization isn’t unique to this species, but it is the first to be discovered displaying it..so thus it’s the Jackass penguin.

Fun Fact: The African Penguin has a serious of spots scattered along its chest. These spots are in fact unique to each individual and can be used to pick one individual out of thousands!

Now, do you see the pink spot just on top of the penguin’s eye? the on that looks like it does not belong on a penguin? it’s circled in the picture below for reference. What would you think this spot is doing there? maybe for mating purposes? maybe for helping with sight, or removing salt from their system while in the ocean. It’s not for identification, I can tell you that much. No, it’s none of those possibilities, it’s actually there to help cool them down. Now, you might be thinking ..cool them down? these guys are penguins… why would the need cooling down and for all of the intuitive readers, you are correct. They are from Africa..and it get’s hot there.  The way it works is quite simple, a large concentration of capillaries are gathered close to the surface of the skin and when internal temperatures beguine to rise beyond comfort levels, more blood is directed towards this area, making it pinker in color.

 

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