Thursday, June 17, 2010

Many People Ask: What does porpoising mean?

Our rockhoppers penguins can do some amazing things. They are excellent jumpers. In fact, they can even jump more than foot straight up from a standing position--a skill they use when navigating their rocky island here or craggy shorelines in the wild.

Falkland II swimming

Our rockhoppers are also very good swimmers. Sometimes they get on a roll and burst out of the water for a second or two. We call this behavior porpoising because it resembles a porpoise's swimming behavior. Take a look!

In the wild, penguins sometimes porpoise to get away from predators, or to take a look at their surroundings. Here at the Aquarium, away from natural predators, they often porpoise after their morning meal while we're cleaning the island and all the birds are in the water.

Come by the Aquarium to watch the morning feeding every day at 9 a.m. and maybe you'll get to see these acrobatic birds! And if you're curious about what it takes to clean up after these penguins, stick around. We'll be posting about cleaning the exhibit very soon!

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