King penguins in the Falkland Islands
© Elmar Weiss/Getty Image
'Come on, guys, this way!'. Penguin Awareness Day
We're celebrating Penguin Awareness Day in 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 kings' 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 birds 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 to depths of 300 feet, and some have even been spotted nearly 1,000 feet beneath the surface. 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.