Wednesday, December 21, 2005

March of the Penguins

I watched March of the Penguins today. Wow! That's probably one of the most fascinating things I've ever seen. Rent this DVD if you haven't already seen it and you will think the same as I. Also, on the DVD there's an hour long documentary about the men who spent a year living among the penguins while they filmed them. That too is very interesting.

While I was watching the movie I was struck by how the entire life of the Emperor Penguin was devoted to seeing that their species survived. Before watching the movie I suppose I assumed that these were your typical penguins which clowned around and took turns jumping off icy shores into the ocean. The hardships endured by both the male and female were enormous. The penguins walk (march) 60 to 70 miles to a specific place in Antarctica to pair up and mate. After laying the egg, the female carefully transfers the egg to the male who will balance the egg on top of his feet while keeping it warm next to his body for the next two months. After the transfer, the females travel back to where they came from to replenish their bodies so they can return in time to care for the chicks after they hatch.

The incubation of the egg occurs in the harshest environment on earth with the temperature reaching lows of -80f and winds sometimes upward of 100mph. The males stand the entire time to balance the egg so it doesn't come in contact with the frozen ground beneath them. When the chicks finally hatch, the males will have been without food for 4 months. The return of the females in time is critical as the males will become too weak to travel the distance home for food.

After watching the movie I couldn't help but think that we as a people could learn something from these creatures and the sacrifices they make to bring new life into our world.

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