On Thursday just under 100 members of CHE attended a visit to the International Antarctic Centre to learn all about penguins! We learned about the penguin’s anatomy (did you know a penguin actually has knees!! But they are fused at a high angle above the hips – which is why a penguin has to waddle on land, but is such a good swimmer in the sea!), and we discovered some of their special adaptations which allow many beads of penguins to live in the Antarctica – The coldest and driest place on earth!
We also learned about the importance of, and the threats to, the seas around Antarctica, and discussed why and how we can protect the delicate ecosystem in the Antarctic seas.
Then it was time to head off into the centre! We were able to watch the rescued little blue penguins that live at the centre swimming and relaxing – they looked very happy!
For those that didn’t mind the cold, we experienced the snow in the Antarctic snow room and even endured a short, but very cold and windy storm! Some of us chose to form a huddle; just like a waddle of Emperor penguins (those on the inside of the huddle definitely got the better deal!)
We had a look at what equipment and supplies you need to take out for an overnight stay on the ice, and discussed what it’s like to be an Antarctic scientist!
Our morning sessions concluded with a 4D movie experience of the Antarctica! – Not for the faint hearted!! Then there was plenty of time to explore the centre, and to pat the adorable Husky puppies!
In the afternoon we were able to go on a behind the scenes tour to discover how the Antarctic Centre care for their rescued Little Blue Penguins.
First we were able to go into the main penguin enclosure – one of the penguins loved swimming up to us to say hello! Then we went into the vet’s room where the penguins are cared for when they are sick or just need a little extra love and attention. It was such a privilege to get so close to these wonderful little guys, and was a perfect end to a perfect penguin day