Penguins may waddle over ground but they fly through the water

Penguins swimming off the coast of Punta Tombo

It is all too easy to assume that penguins are clumsy animals.

After all, we typically encounter them on land, where they spend roughly half their lives. And boy are they awkward on land. But they are not built for setting land speed records. They are built for the sea. For evading other creatures that swim, such as leopard seals.

Scientists will tell you that they can cover 80 miles in a day.

And this isn’t just a one-time trip either. This is a regular commute — like going to work. They swim 80 miles in search of food, for themselves and their chicks. Which is why ocean trawlers, with nets that stretch for miles, are so dangerous to the future of penguins, as well as so many other wildlife. The nets take all the food, as well as anything else in their path. Penguins go where the trawlers go and vice versa. Sometimes penguins don’t make it back from their commute.

For more information on penguins, visit the Penguin Sentinels web site and subscribe to their newsletter.

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