Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 30 Issue 04

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Volume 30, No. 4
Pages 12 - 17


RIPPLE MARKS • Birds with Fins, Fish with Wings: Pondering Penguins’ Prospects

Cheryl Lyn Dybas
First Paragraph

The days are darkening in the Northern Hemisphere, but (way) down south, it’s summer. Life has emerged from the austral winter, including those ambassadors of the Southern Hemisphere, penguins.

Few creatures have so captured our imaginations as these ungainly, flightless seabirds that dwell in some of the most inhospitable and inaccessible regions on Earth.

Penguins’ evolutionary history is an incredible tale of success. The birds thrive in areas where most animals would quickly perish. But penguins are supremely well adapted to life in the deep freeze.

Explorers have long known that the closer one looks at penguins, the more fascinating they become. With that in mind, herein, a patchwork of penguinabilia—anecdotes about the birds, and scientists’ unending quest to understand them.


Dybas, C.L. 2017. Birds with fins, fish with wings: Pondering penguins’ prospects. Oceanography 30(4):12–17, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2017.404.

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