22 Jun 2011

Emperor Penguin Visits New Zealand Beach

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Local man admires visiting Emperor Penguin on Peka Peka Beach on the North(!) Island of New Zealand

For the first time in 44 years, an estimated-to-be 10-months-old Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) waddled ashore on Peka Peka Beach near the bottom of the North Island of New Zealand yesterday, approximately 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) from its native Antarctic waters.

The immature Penguin is roughly 31″ tall. Emperor Penguins are the largest Penguin species and can reach 48″.

News reports are indulging in the usual kinds of empty speculation. Reports of the Penguin’s possible thirst (it has been observed to be eating wet sand) are probably not well-founded. Penguins can drink salt water.

The only other confirmed sighting of a wild Emperor in New Zealand was in 1967 at the southern Oreti Beach.

Daily Mail story (good pictures)

ABC story (better information)

1:13 video

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