The Antarctica Files: Penguin Highway!

Penguins share parenting responsibilities 50-50-- one parent watches the nest, one parent gets to go feed, and then they switch. Over and over and over.

Well some of these damn rookeries were WAY far away from the water! HUGE journeys for little foot-tall penguins, especially when they can only waddle on land, especially when the snow is up over their heads!

How do they make that journey just a little bit easier?

Same way we make long journeys on land a little easier-- HIGHWAYS!



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Very interesting, although I thought they would be tobaggoning it, based on the still photo you see before you play it. (Is that guy on the right dead, or just resting?)

Do they go up hill using the same highways?

Those penguins are filthy! have they worn the snow away clear down to the dirt farther up the hill, or is that chick-sick all over their fronts?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 27 Jan 2011 #permalink

I wish people walked like penguins

Well those highways are not actually MADE by the penguins, are they? Looks like some snowmobile trail or something...

They're not snowmobile trails--far far too narrow. In years of high snowshoe hare abundance their trails/gathering areas can be so packed down that a person can walk on them without snowshoes and without breaking through the snow. I have no doubt those trails in the video are penguin-made.

By Daniel J. Andrews (not verified) on 30 Jan 2011 #permalink

It's an emergent phenomenon: each individual penguin just follows the easiest path they can find, and the consequence is the formation of a well-smoothed trail. Neat.