Penguins: Their world, Their ways

202327_40by Tui de Roy, Mark Jones, Julie Cornthwaite

Shelfmark: BI/009/13

April 25 is World Penguin Day.  It is timed to coincide with the start of the annual march to the sea of the Adélie penquins.   These Antarctic migrants complete their return journey six months later.

This book is worth picking up for the photographs alone, of which there are many. The chapters are split into short sections filled with fascinating facts, making it easy to dip into the book.


Penguins are, perhaps the most loved of birds. We’ve been fascinated by them for just about as long as we’ve known they existed. When penguins are on land, their actions appear to us so humorous and expressive that we can be excused for thinking we understand them perfectly, identifying with what looks like moods and foibles similar to our own. Little do we realise that their private lives are as complex and mysterious as that of any wild animals or that the bulk of their existence – in terms of time, space and survival skills – takes place very far from our prying eyes hidden beneath the ocean waves.

While a few types of penguins are relatively well known, not everyone appreciates that the family is represented by 18 species (or even 19, depending on the taxonomy used). Those with retiring personalities or nocturnal habits tend to remain overlooked and rarely photographed. Likewise for species restricted to distant islands. Penguins: Their World, Their Ways is a comprehensive account of all the penguin species and a look at some of the science that is helping us to better understand them.


Part I: Life between two worlds

Penguin seasons: The cycle of life
Stripes and brays: The ‘Jackass’ foursome
Long-tailed trilogy: The Antartic trio
Island dandies: The crested penguins
Multitudes in deep trouble: The Rockhoppers
Fairies of the night: An odd couple
Monarchs of the far south: Kings and Emperors

Part II: Science and conservation

Penguins and people: A retrospective
March of the fossil penguins
How penguins store food
Penguin colours and pigments
Waitaha penguin: Dynamic history revealed
Adélie penguin: Bellwether of climate change
Using satellties to monitor penguin populations
Beyond pruying eyes: Tracking penguins at sea
Marking penguins: Minimising research impacts
The Crested Penguin egg-size conundrum
Emperor youngsters on the move
Little blues: Facing big challenges
Galapagos penguins: A troubled history
Magellanic penguins: Living with people
Southern Rockhopper: Species in decline
Northern Rockhoppers: Tragedy on Trisan

Part III: Species natural history

Penguin Who’s Who: 18 species worldwide
Fascinating penguin facts
Penguin range and population status
Species profiles
Where to see wild penguins

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