Cute Gentoo Penguins In Spring Time Antartica

Antarctica. The southern end of our planet, and the coldest place on Earth. It has been frozen for 30 million years. In its center, the covering of ice is over four kilometers thick. Entire mountain ranges are buried beneath it. Here, it is so cold that each winter 19 million square kilometers of ocean freezes, more than doubling the size of the ice cap. But when in spring, the sea ice melts, life returns once again to the continent's shores.

The peninsula that stretches north towards South America is the first part of it to be released from winter's grip. As the sea ice breaks up, life returns. There is a greater variety of living creatures here than anywhere else in Antarctica.

The South Pole is found in Antarctica. Antarctica is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. Antarctica is bigger than Europe and almost double the size of Australia. (

Gentoo penguins spend most of their lives at sea, but now, in spring, they have to come ashore to breed. They're the fastest of all penguins in water, but on land, life takes on a slower pace. It's an uphill struggle to reach their nesting grounds... but penguins never give up.

Gentoo penguins are the third largest penguin species. Unlike certain other penguin species, gentoos do not have a yearly migration cycle. The weight and height of gentoos are found to increase the farther they live from the Antarctic Peninsula. Gentoo penguins only breed in areas free of snow and ice. (

The paths they follow, carved by thousands of tiny footsteps, lead to Antarctica's rarest commodity. Bare rock. Less than one percent of Antarctica is ice-free, and these rocky patches are the only places where gentoos can lay their eggs.

It's been a 30-minute struggle, but he's almost at the top, where his mate is waiting for him. He presents her with a stone, a gift to improve the nest and so win her favor. He's back just in time. There's another mouth to feed.

As the gentoo penguin waddles along on land, its tail sticks out behind, sweeping from side to side, hence the scientific name Pygoscelis, which means "rump-tailed". (Wikipedia) Most penguins swim underwater at around four to seven miles per hour (mph), but the fastest penguin—the gentoo (Pygoscelis papua)—can reach top speeds of 22 mph! (Smithsonian Mag)

Gentoo penguins used to be rare in this part of Antarctica, but now, as temperatures rise, their numbers here are increasing. Sea ice may appear to be flat and lifeless, but beneath it there is another world.

These charismatic waddlers, who populate the Antarctic Peninsula and numerous islands around the frozen continent, are the penguin world's third largest members, reaching a height of 30 inches and a weight of 12 pounds. (National Geographic)

Source: Netflix. Narrator: David Attenborough.

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