The DOTY blog is taking a new direction from today. Rather than giving a roundup of occasions for the coming week, I’ll be choosing my favourite one from the bunch and sharing news, facts, opinions and random shizzle on the topic. Monday 20th January, for instance, has six occasions falling within twenty-four hours, but the best one by far (in my personal opinion) is Penguin Awareness Day. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at everyone’s favourite large flightless seabird of the southern hemisphere.

As is the way of anyone writing any kind of article, the first thing I did was a good old-fashioned Google search. One of the top results for “penguin facts” is the Science Kids website, and below are some of their titbits of information, with my professional feedback in bold.

  • Penguins are flightless birds. True dat.
  • The Galapagos Penguin is the only penguin species that ventures north of the equator in the wild. Didn’t know that. What a renegade.
  • Large penguin populations can be found in countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Argentina and South Africa. South African penguins? That’s rad!
  • No penguins live at the North Pole. Because Santa would no doubt use them as slave labour.
  • Penguins can drink sea water. So can I, but I prefer Evian.
  • Emperor Penguins often huddle together to keep warm in the cold temperatures of Antarctica. Nawwwwww.
  • Little Blue Penguins are the smallest type of penguin, averaging around 33 cm (13 in) in height. NAWWWWWW!
  • Penguins’ black and white plumage serves as camouflage while swimming. The black plumage on their back is hard to see from above, while the white plumage on their front looks like the sun reflecting off the surface of the water when seen from below. Huh. Now that really is an interesting fact. I might try it the next time I’m at the swimming pool.
Banana Penguin

Interesting stuff, eh? I certainly learnt a thing or two. (Yes, I know it’s a website for kids, but let’s face it, by the time you’re nineteen you’ve forgotten pretty much everything you learnt at school.)

Now, I couldn’t possibly end this post without sharing one of my favourite things ever: the humble banana penguin. It’s very easy to create and always makes people smile, except of course when you’re giving a sales presentation in front of a board of directors. Or when you’re driving your family to the shopping centre. Or at a funeral.

Okay, so there are quite a few examples of when making a banana penguin wouldn’t make people smile, but I’m sure you can find occasions where it’s appropriate to turn your healthy snack into a zoo creature. Oh God, that reminds me! Check out the Edinburgh Zoo penguin cam!

See you next week. In the meantime, have a happy, healthy and utterly aquatic Penguin Awareness Day.


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