Monday, May 26, 2008

First post and a little info

Ahay from Antarctica or some parts there about... I'm wiinterrr, le blonde adelie, and I will be your host here on this blog. I welcome you to Penguinology.

Let's first break down that title: Penguin-

(Answer from )
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  1. Any of various stout flightless marine birds of the family Spheniscidae, of cool regions of the Southern Hemisphere, having flipperlike wings and webbed feet adapted for swimming and diving, and short scalelike feathers that are white in front and black on the back.
  2. Obsolete. The great auk.

[Possibly from Welsh pen gwyn, White Head (name of an island in Newfoundland), great auk : pen, chief, head + gwynn, white.]

Now "ology"--

  1. Discourse; expression: phraseology.
  2. Science; theory; study: dermatology; sexology.

[Middle English -logie, from Old French, from Latin -logia, from Greek -logiā (from logos, word, speech) and from -logos, one who deals with (from legein, to speak).]

(again from

So, in a very simplistic sense, we are here to discuss and study the penguin. Penguins have a tendency to rate as very newsworthy subjects, as well as to endear themselves to the hearts of millions.

There are many blogs out there that report current events regarding penguins: everything from penguin toys to penguins at the zoo. There are penguin hockey players and penguin cake ornaments. But little is said regarding the science of penguins and that is the gap I wish to fill. I have a penguin news site on myspace, and also a blog on Blogger that displays and discusses the Gentoo penguins at Gars O'Higgins Station. But neither spot is apropos for science and there is much to be said, as penguins are our canaries in the proverbial coal mine. They will be the doomsayers of global warming, when they dwindle in numbers. They will be the telling ones who will show the first effects of overfishing the oceans.

Whether we see penguins as cute and adorable or the last vestiges of an evolutionary line that stretches back to the Late Cretaceous, they are a most wonderful addition to our lives. How could we ever imagine life without them?

Enough said! Let's talk penguin. :)

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