penguin(redirected from Spheniscinae)
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Related to Spheniscinae: Spheniscidae
penguin,originally the common name for the now extinct great aukauk
, common name for a member of the family Alcidae (alcid family), swimming and diving birds of the N Atlantic and Pacific, which includes the guillemots and puffins. Their legs are set far back on their bodies, making them clumsy on land, where they seldom venture except to
..... Click the link for more information. of the N Atlantic and now used (since the 19th cent.) for the unrelated, generally antarctic diving birds of the Southern Hemisphere. Penguins, which are related most closely to the albatrossesalbatross
, common name for sea birds of the order of tube-nosed swimmers (Procellariiformes), which includes petrels, shearwaters, and fulmars. The wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans, made famous by Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner,
..... Click the link for more information. , are the most highly specialized of all birds for marine life. They swim entirely by means of their flipperlike wings, using their webbed feet as rudders. Their stiff feathers serve as insulation, and are waterproof when oiled. Since their legs are set far back on their bodies, they waddle awkwardly on land, and often travel by tobogganing on their bellies over the ice as they migrate—sometimes great distances—each fall to their nesting sites.
Underwater they can swim up to 25 mi (40.3 km) per hr as they pursue the fish, squid, and shrimp that form their diet. They do not eat while on land, subsisting on a layer of fat under the skin; this results in weight losses of up to 75 lb (33.8 kg) during the two-month incubation period. Their chief enemies are the leopard seal, killer whale, and skua gull. Penguins are highly gregarious, and a population density of half a million birds in 500 acres has been counted at a colony in Antarctica.
There are 17 species of penguins, 10 of which are considered endangered or threatened. The largest penguins, the emperor and the king (3–4 ft/91.5–122 cm in height), incubate their eggs between their feet in a fold of skin. The smaller jackass penguins, Spheniscus demersus, are named for their braying cry, and crested penguins (genus Eudyptes) are distinguished by yellow plumes on either side of the head. Smallest of all is the little blue penguin, Eudyptula minor, of New Zealand and Australia, which is 16–17 in. (41–44 cm) tall. Other penguins also live in more northerly waters, such as the Galápagos penguin Spheniscus mendiculus, found in equatorial waters.
Penguins are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae.
See E. G. Simpson, Penguins, (1982).
What does it mean when you dream about a penguin?
Dreaming about a penguin or about being a penguin can indicate emotional coldness or a sense of isolation. A penguin, as a bird that can’t fly, can also represent someone who seems to be able to function despite lacking something essential. A penguin might also symbolize a recalled image of someone wearing a tuxedo.
penguin(1) (Penguin) A periodic set of changes to the Google search algorithm. See Google algorithm.
(2) The mascot for the Linux operating system, which was inspired by Linux Torvalds, creator of Linux. The mascot's name is "Tux," which stands for Torvalds UniX or tuxedo. Many people think penguins look like they are wearing a tux. See Penguinhead and Linux.
|The Linux Mascot|
|Linux users see penguin symbols often in their travels around the Linux world. This penguin appears on the desktop of Linux users running the KDE user interface.|