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Dangers to Penguins

On land, the skua is a danger for penguins. This bird eats eggs and young chicks left unattended. Sometimes skuas work together. One separates the chick from the parent while the other moves in to grab the helpless chick.

photo courtesy of Guillaume Dargaud

The leopard seal is the main predator of Adélie penguins at sea. The seals swim around the edges of the ice waiting for penguins to dive in. Sometimes they hide under the overlap of ice. Often penguins hold back until one finally is brave enough to enter the water. Then others follow.
leopard seal
photo courtesy of Guillaume Dargaud

penguin coated in oil
Photo from red dotPete & Barb's Penguin  Pages
courtesy of Peter and Barbara Barham
The red dotleopard seal is only one enemy of penguins. red dotOrcas, also known as killer whales, eat penguins. Man creates a threat to penguins, too. Penguins used to be killed for the oil made from blubber, the layer of fat beneath the penguins' skin. Though that is now illegal, unregulated fishing depletes the waters of the fish some penguins rely upon for food. Global warming raises the temperature of the water and reduces the amount of krill in the oceans. Pollution of ocean waters destroys the habitat of penguins, too. The penguin pictured here is an African penguin covered with oil spilled from a tanker off the coast of Africa. All of this points to man as an enemy, too.

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Types of Penguins
Penguin Facts by First Graders
Food of Penguins
Dangers to Penguins
Penguin Poems and Stories
Glossary of Terms
Penguin WebQuest
Links to Fun Activities
Useful and Interesting Links

Page created by A. Meyerhorn January 2001 and updated March 2003       Copyright 2001

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