Gentoo penguin, the species that reduces its heart rate when diving

#ShortStories #DecisiveMoments. The penguin is a very charismatic species, they have a very friendly appearance and have inspired brands, animated films and characters, such as the penguin in Batman, or the Penguin ice creams here in Ecuador. Let’s learn a little more about the Gentoo Penguin.

 

Pinguinos de Gentoo la especie que reduce su ritmo cardiaco al sumergirse Saga Nature Saga Animals Saga Creativa Ecuador cover

Source: © Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada

You may have seen them in photos and videos since they live far away from Ecuador. They inhabit different remote places like Antarctica, or sites with very cold climates such as the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the Kerguelen Islands, Macquarie Island, the Heard Islands and the South Shetland Islands. Large and small populations and colonies are distributed in these locations, adding up to 387,000 pairs. At the moment they are the 3rd largest species of penguin in the world, behind the king penguin and the emperor penguin.

Like other penguin species, they build nests using small rocks, feathers and vegetation that surrounds them in the sub-Antarctic islands; but unlike the rest, they can be distinguished by the white mark in the form of a “hat” that they exhibit on top of their heads. They are agile swimmers and experts, speed up to 48 km per hour in spite of their weight of 6 to 8 kg and height of 80cm. In addition, when diving into deep water to hunt, or escape from predators, they reduce their heart rate from 80-100 beats to just 20 per minute. They are carnivorous birds, feed on small marine animals such as krill, crustaceans, squid and fish, and in turn, are prey to sea lions, wild cats, seagulls and hawks.

 

Pinguinos de Gentoo la especie que reduce su ritmo cardiaco al sumergirse Saga Nature Saga Animals Saga Creativa Ecuador 2

 

For the time being the Gentoo penguin is not an endangered species, however, humans have invaded part of their territory which has caused them to be hunted and have their nests trampled by cattle. Additionally, changes in water, both pollution and temperature, are threatening it. But we can help them from home. You can start with the reduction of all types of plastics, especially those for single use (those that you use only once before throwing them away), which end up in the oceans and are confused as food by marine species. In addition, you can start by using your bike for certain daily activities instead of using the car. These actions helps reduce the carbon dioxide that cars release which results in global warming.

 

Pinguinos de Gentoo la especie que reduce su ritmo cardiaco al sumergirse Saga Nature Saga Animals Saga Creativa Ecuador 1

 

 

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