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March of the Penguins
"A sideways glance at a great movie about the fascinating emperor penguins. Even if you haven't seen the film, these questions are for you if you like these black and white birdies."
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
As "March of the Penguins" begins, a group of emperor penguins is leaving the ocean to journey inland to Antarctica in order to find a mate. During what month does this quest begin (or is it most likely to begin if you haven't seen the movie)?
Walking is not the emperor penguin's only form of overland locomotion - when the birds are tired of walking, and the terrain is suitable, they will belly-flop down and paddle along the ice.
When emperor penguins reach their nesting ground, an elaborate courtship ensues. Once the males and females have paired off, it's for keeps - emperor penguins mate for life.
After reaching the nesting ground and finding a mate, emperor penguins are almost immediately besieged by winter. Which of these strategies do they use to combat the hostile Antarctic cold?
They burrow into the snow, building mini-igloos to conserve body heat.
They strike protruding outcrops of flint with their beaks, starting fires that keep the group warm.
No strategy is needed - penguins are perfectly adapted to survive the Antarctic winter with no ill effects.
They huddle together in a collective mass, forming a living field of black across the ice.
One of the most remarkable aspects of penguin breeding is that the father penguin will care for the couple's egg. However, the duration of his care, much like the suicidal instincts of lemmings, has been greatly exaggerated by sensationalists over the years; the father penguin will rarely carry the egg for more than a few minutes.
After laying her egg, the female penguin heads back to the sea in search of food for themselves and their chicks. However, many of them end up becoming food themselves! Which of these is a predator that emperor penguins have to watch out for?
After consuming huge amounts of food in the ocean, the females return to their mates. In groups that may number in the thousands, how do mates find each other?
By smell - no elaboration necessary.
By sight - human perceptions to the contrary, penguins actually are very distinct in appearance, at least to other penguins.
By sound - the female trumpets her unique call, and the male responds with his.
The exact mechanism is unknown, though each of these answers has been considered by biologists as a possibility.
Within a couple days of hatching, most baby emperor penguins are ready to walk about on their own, though they stay close to their mothers who show them how to find food.
As with any wild species, some chicks do not survive the initial trials of weather and other perils. When a mother emperor penguin loses her chick, what is she likely to do?
All of these are common behaviors in female emperor penguins
Lash out in an angry rage at the other female penguins, sometimes killing one or more adults or their chicks
Try to steal another chick
Commit suicide by regurgitation and self-starvation
Mother and father penguin continue caring for their chick for several months. Then, about nine months after beginning their march to the nesting ground, they return to the ocean. About a month later, their chicks take to the ocean for the first time themselves. Will the chicks return to the nesting ground three months later to begin the cycle again?
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Compiled Jun 23 13