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Order Sphenisciformes


The Sphenisciformes are the penguins. All 17-18 species live in the Southern Hemisphere. Larger penguins retain heat better and generally inhabit colder regions such as Antarctica, whereas smaller species may be found in temperate or even tropical regions such as he Galapagos Islands. These birds are extremely adapted to an aquatic life - they are often referred to as "underwater flyers". They have extremely good underwater eyesight, which is their main tool for detecting prey. Most feed on krill, fish or squid. They are ungainly walkers and those penguins from the Antarcic slide across the snow on their bellies (known as "toboganning") which is faster and is more energy-efficient than waddling.


Author: Robert Davis
Last updated: 21/11/05

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Websites produced by students on the MSc Palaeobiology programme in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol for academic year 2005-6