Order IMPENNES

Order IMPENNES .

PENGUINS.

Beak never hooked. Schizognathous. Breast-bone half as broad as it is long, with a pair of notches posteriorly. First and second digits of the hand fused together in adults. Three metatarsals very short and separated by deep grooves their whole length. No quill-feathers in the wing. No power of flight. Young born helpless and covered with down. Peculiar to Southern Hemisphere.

Penguins are distinct structurally from all birds. In habits and appearance they resemble Divers, Grebes, and Auks. Externally the small scale-like feathers uniformly covering the whole body (without any bare spaces) are very characteristic. The fore-limbs, having no definitely arranged quill-feathers, more resemble fins than wings. The wing serves as a swimming organ. It shows but little external differentiation, being covered at its interior margin by overlapping scales, which gradually merge into scale-like feathers towards the posterior edge. There is nothing comparable to the remiges of other birds, and this wing probably represents one of the most primitive forms. The skeleton of this extremity is modi fied much as that of the flippers of the Whales and Porpoises, the bones being flattened and so jointed as to allow very little motion at the elbow and wrist. The pollex or first digit is fused into the others. The legs are very short, and the feet have three principal toes turned forwards and webbed and a small pendent hind toe.

The Penguins, though totally unable to fly, are expert swimmers and divers. They feed entirely on fish and other marine animals. In breeding time they congregate in vast numbers upon the desolate shores near which they habitually dwell, forming a rude nest of grass upon the ground in which they lay two white or greenish-white eggs (4.85 x 3.25). Though closely resembling each other anatomically, they present considerable external differences in the form of the bill and the decorative tufts on the head. By these characters they have been divided into five genera containing eighteen species. (N. H.M.)

The genus Aptenodytes. With both mandibles long and curved downwards towards the tip.

Tail of twenty feathers. Two species, viz.—

A. fosteri. 48". Weight 60 to 90 lbs. The Emperor Penguin. Basal part of lower mandible (flesh colour) partially concealed by feathers. Crown, cheeks, chin, and throat black. Above bluish green, each feather with dark base and a bluish-white subterminal spot. Foreneck and below white, black of throat meeting white of foreneck in a concave semicircle-Yellow semicircular patch on each side of head, shading into white on side of the neck, which is partially divided by a black shoulder-patch. Feet black. Immature and young birds want the yellow patch on side of the head; the back is darker and more regularly spotted; the shoulder-patches are wanting. Antarctic shores.

A. patagonicus. 36". The King Penguin. With basal part of lower mandible (flesh colour) bare. Black of throat ending in a point on foreneck and margined on each side by orange-yellow bands which connect the orange-yellow patches on sides of the head with that of the lower foreneck. General colour as in A. fosteri. Feet black. Nestling covered with brown down. From Straits of Magellan to New Zealand isles, 40° to 60° S. lat.

" King Penguins, like the Royals, have only one egg. They have no nest whatever, and manage the hatching in a most wonderful manner. The egg (4.0 x 2.84) is placed on the two feet, and then the bird, taking up a stooping position, loosens the skin on the breast. This looseness is utilised to form a sort of pouch, completely covering the egg. By this means the egg never touches the cold stones, and is warmly covered up all round" (Pall Mall Magazine, November, 1897).

Also the genus Pygoscelis. With lower mandible never curved down towards the tip. No superciliary band of golden feathers. Tail twelve to sixteen feathers. Three species, viz.—

P. taeniata. 30". The Gentoo Penguin. Above slate-grey, each feather with dark base and blue-grey tip. Breast and below white. Chin and throat grey or brownish. Wide white band above eye curving back towards crown. Flipper margined white on both sides. Feet yellow. Tail sixteen feathers in adults, eighteen in young. The Falkland, Kerguelen, and Macquarie Islands.

P. adeliae. 30". General colour as in P. taeniata, but no band across crown, and inner margin only of flipper margined white. Feet black. Tail fourteen feathers. Egg 2.75 x 2.25. Antarctic continent.

P. antarctica. 30". General colour as in P. adeliae, but chin and throat white, and a narrow black line crossing the throat in a semicircle from ear to ear. Feet black. Bill black. Tail twelve feathers in adults, fourteen in young. Falkland Islands and vicinity.

Also the genus Catarrhactes. Royal Penguins. With a superciliary band of golden feathers. Tail twelve to sixteen feathers. Seven species :—

Superciliary land not uniting on forehead.

C. chrysocome. 25". The Rock Hopper Penguin. Superciliary band of golden feathers greatly elongate posteriorly. Above dark slate, each pointed feather black, edged externally dark slate. Top of head black. Straggling crest. Head, chin, and throat smoky black. Below white. Bill orange. Tail sixteen feathers. From Tierra del Fuego to the New Zealand group. C. pachyrhynchus. 28". The Thick-billed Penguin. Superciliary band not greatly elongate posteriorly. Inner margin of flipper with one row of narrow white-edged feathers. Bill red. Feet pink. Tail sixteen feathers. New Zealand islands.

C. sclateri. 28". Similar to C. pachyrhynchus, but inner margin of flipper has two rows of narrow white-edged feathers. Tail sixteen feathers. New Zealand islands.

C. vittatus. 26". Allied to C. pachyrhynchus, but flipper is uniform dark brown, and not margined posteriorly white. Dunedin, N. Z.

Superciliary land uniting on forehead.

C. chrysolophus. 30". The Macaroni Penguin. Plumage above as in C. chrysocome. Frontal plumes passing back over crown gold and black. Lores, chin, throat, and sides of head and neck blackish. Bill dark red. Feet pink. Tail fourteen feathers. Falkland Isles to Kerguelen Land.

C. schlegeli 30". Allied to C. chrysolophus but lores, chin, throat, sides of head and neck pure white. Tail fourteen feathers. New Zealand islands.

Superciliary land united at lack of crown.

C. antipodum. 30", The Yellow-crowned Penguin. General colour above slate-grey, tipped blue. Forehead and crown pale golden. Chin and throat white. Bill dull red. Feet grey. Tail of twenty feathers. Female similarly marked, but lighter in colour, and crown less developed. New Zealand Archipelago.

Also the genus Eudyptula. Basal part of mandible entire. Tail very short, of sixteen feathers. Two species, viz.—

E. minor. 16". Above slate-blue, each feather with brownish base and black shaft. Only the inner margin of flipper bordered white. Tail sixteen feathers. Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and Chatham Isles.

E. allosignata. 16 1/2". Similar to E. minor, but both outer and inner margins of flipper bordered white. Tail sixteen feathers.' Coasts of New Zealand.

Also the genus Spheniscus. With basal part of mandibles furrowed by numerous longitudinal ridges. Tail very short, of eighteen to twenty feathers. Four species.

Foreneck pure white (between Hack lands on throat and chest).

S. demersus. 27". The South African Penguin. Eyebrow-stripe white, and extending to lores, and encircling the face-patch. Forehead, mid-crown, and nape black, shading into grey on upper parts. Chin, throat, and sides of head black. Curved black band across chest continued down each side of body to the tail. Breast and belly white, irregularly spotted black. Bill black, with red spot. Tail twenty feathers. Coasts of S. Africa.

S. humboldi 27". Allied to S. demersus. White eyebrow-stripe narrow, commencing behind the eye. Tail of twenty feathers. W. coast of S. America.

Foreneck with wide Hack land (between Hack lands of throat and chest).

S. magellicanus. 28". The Jackass Penguin. Similar to S. demersus, but under surface of flipper white, dotted black. Tail twenty feathers. South coast of S. America.

S. mendiculus. 20". Allied to S. magellicanus, but under surface of flipper black, with wide white band down the middle. Bill long and slender, basal two-thirds of upper mandible yellow. Tail of eighteen feathers. Galapagos Islands. (B.M. Cat., xxvi. 623-653.)

BookTitle: 
Game, Shore And Water Birds Of India
Reference: 
Le Messurier, Augustus. Game, Shore, and Water Birds of India Fourth Edition, 1904.
Title in Book: 
Order IMPENNES
Book Author: 
A Le Messurier
Year: 
1904
Page No: 
293
Volume: 
4th ed.
id: 
13220

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