Yes, penguins actually do have knees

The Wife is crazy about penguins and when the news popped up on her Facebook feed that Phillip Island Nature Parks would be livestreaming their nightly Penguin Parade starting from 25 August, she went nuts!

Well, maybe not nuts, but she was very excited.

Visiting Phillip Island and watching the Penguin Parade is on her travel bucket list, and the current Covid-19 situation has ironically allowed her to sort-of tick it off.

Here’s the 22 second teaser they released on their YouTube channel.

If you, like The Wife, squeaked: “SO CUTE !!!”, then you’ll definitely want to watch the nightly livestream, starting from the very first one on 25 August. **Spoiler Alert** You’ll get to see 844 penguins, starting from the 20:30 mark.

So far, it has gotten 313,166 views for a penguin-to-view ratio of 1:371. Which is, of course, a totally random and useless fact. But as you watch the livestreams, you’ll get to learn so much about penguins, and more specifically, the Little Penguins seen in the videos.

For example:

  • Penguins have knees, but they are fused so they can’t bend them and end up waddling everywhere.
  • A group of penguins in the water is called a “raft” but when they are on land, they are called a “waddle”.
  • The littlest penguins in the world are called Little Penguins (Eudyptula Minor) that grow to an average height of only 33 cm and have blue feathers.
  • Little Penguins have an average lifespan of about 7 years, but the oldest one on Phillip Island is 26 years old.
  • Penguins spend most of their time in the sea (up to 80%!) and can take micro-naps of a few minutes even while floating. But they do come back ashore occasionally to sleep in burrows, some of which can be up to 2 km inland.
  • Penguins can swim faster than Michael Phelps, reaching an average speed of 7-8 km/h vs his relatively lame 6 km/h. Penguins FTW.
  • Something that the kids will love: Penguins have an oil gland near their butts, and they collect the oil with their beaks and spread it all over their feathers to make them waterproof. Ok, on second thoughts, maybe don’t tell them this fact. In case, you know…
  • And to end off this list, you can actually get a job as a penguin counter at the park.

Like, really.

They have been counting penguins every single night since 1968, and if you try counting along as you watch the livestream (no pausing!), you’ll know how tough the job is.

A quick check at https://www.penguins.org.au/about/employment/current-vacancies/ unfortunately shows that they currently have enough penguin counters. But if you’re interested, do check in frequently. You never know when a vacancy will pop up.

Featured image credit: Phillip Island Nature Parks

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