Simonstown, South Africa

As the penguin jumps off a boulder, its body appears stiff and straight. It has its wings slightly spread. On the large boulder behind it, you see its shadow larger as the penguin really is.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 8 September, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/9
  • Exposure time: 1/1600s
  • ISO: 400
  • Focal Length: 123mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 1574 by 2038 pixels (WxH).

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As the penguin jumps down, its body appears stiff and straight. Nevertheless, not quite flying, but it has its wings spread. The penguin’s shadow is a lot fatter than the actual bird due to the angle of the sun. The large boulder behind it is covert in guano and adds a white color against the brown rock.

Although African penguins look classy because of their coat that looks like a tux, they are, in fact, rather clumsy animals on land. However, in the water, with their incredible streamline body, they can propel themselves faster to catch fish. The oily substance on their feathers helps them to glide through the water. Their webbed feet also push them more quickly. Not only does it help with speed, but it also helps insulate them in cold temperatures. It traps the body’s heat under the feathers. Contrastingly, during hot weather, the African penguin uses the pink around its eyes to keep fresh. They send more blood through the pink gland as this is a way to cool the blood from the outside air.

The African penguin, Spheniscus demersus, IUCN red list classifies it as endangered.

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