Sunday, May 20, 2007

Beach Boys (And Girls)

If you have been to "Penguins' Rock" at the Tennessee Aquarium, you already know the water is in motion almost all of the time. And it's not the birds causing all of the water's motion. We have included a wave machine to create an ocean swell inside the gallery, and the penguins think it's well......swell. At night and early in the mornings the wave machine is off. This encourages the birds to get some rest at night. In the morning we leave it off for awhile so I can get a real good look at all of the gentoos and macaronis, and make sure everyone gets a vitamin fish. But once the wave machine comes on, it's everyone into the pool. For these penguins, this is the first place they have lived with waves. And they really seem to enjoy body surfing at "Penguins' Rock." If you don't know by now, you'll hear a lot more about penguins surfing in the days to come. On June 8th a new animated film will hit theaters nationwide called "Surfs Up." Here is a link to check out a trailer:
I wanted to mention this because penguins really do surf in the wild. I have a terrific book called "Penguin Life" which has incredible pictures of gentoo penguins surfing the Falkland Islands. Take a look for yourself, and read photographer Andy Rouse's comments about these amazing pictures here:
So I think it's pretty cool that our penguins are surfing everyday in the waves generated at "Penguins' Rock." In fact, in a way that makes our penguins little Beach Boys and Girls.

2 comments: Updates said...

The guys look great on the web. I can't wait to get back up there to see them in person. Great job on the blog. I hope this concept catches on at other places.

jennifer m said...

I am absolutley hooked on the web cam, they are adorable and so much fun. I wondered about their schedule. They seem to sleep in the afternoon then as soon as the lights go out its party time! Is this their normal schedule or differnt due to captivity? We are lucky to have the penguins, keep up the good work. Thanks