King penguins in the Falkland Islands
© Elmar Weiss/Getty Image
'Come on, guys, this way!'. Penguin Awareness Day
We're celebrating Penguin Awareness Day on the Falkland Islands, taking a stroll with some King penguins. Kings are the second-largest penguin species, only outranked in stature by their Emperor penguin cousins. And while the King's tuxedo coloring gives them a dash of the debonair, it also provides an important and more practical purpose: camouflage. When the birds dive deep into the ocean looking for food, their black feathers disguise the bird from predators above, while their white undersides do the reverse.
Kings are legendary for their diving prowess—in their quest for tasty squid and lanternfish, they can dive over 300 feet below the surface, and some have even been spotted at depths near 1,000 feet! Underwater these flightless birds are the epitome of grace. On land, however, they are not so graceful, and waddle or 'toboggan' on their bellies to get around.