hairylunch (hairylunch) wrote,

March of the Penguins

So, here's my promised follow up about March of the Penguins.

I didn't have many expectations going into this movie, just a documentary about some penguins (Emperor Penguin's if you want to be specific). The Wikipedia article about the movie is pretty decent.

I was impressed by the serially monogamy of the penguins - once the penguins find partners, they stay with the all year, alternating the incubating of the egg, treking back across the ice pack to get food, and raising the chick.

The fact that they go months at a time w/o eating is amazing too (the penguins trek 60+ miles each year, and there's no food at the breeding grounds). The penguins starve for a few months as they find mates, then the males continue to starve after the females have laid eggs - 125+ days w/o food for the males, and the females have produced an egg, and lost 1/3 of their weight before they get back to the sea. The males incubate the eggs, while the females trek back to the water to get food. The parents then alternate, with one of them staying with the chick, and the other going to get food. It's kind of insane. Some how the female penguins know when to come back, timing their arrival back to the males with the hatching of the eggs. Who knows how they do this w/o cell phones . . .

The other amazing thing is that the father's take their turn going to get food right after the chick has hatched. Somehow they walk to the sea, stockpile some food, wander on back, and they recognize their chick by sound alone. I do wonder what about the males/females who wander back and find out their chick has perished.

I don't know, I'm just amazed at how nature works, and creates systems that seem ridiculously complex, but somehow prevail. It's kind of amusing that near the end of the Wikipedia article, there's some discussion about how they're proof of intelligent design. Right . . . it seems more likely to me that the complexity of the penguin's live is proof that life will find a way to prevail . . .

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