Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Home, Home on the Range

Where do our penguins come from? That's one question that gets asked frequently but has slightly different answers depending on the intended context. The penguins at the Tennessee Aquarium are part of a breeding loan program from SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas. A few of the macaroni penguins came from the Pittsburgh Zoo as part of this program, the other macaronis and all of the gentoos came from SeaWorld in San Antonio. If you are asking where wild macaroni and gentoo penguins call home, check out the above maps. The top one shows the home range of macaroni penguins. The second map shows the home range of wild gentoo penguins. Notice that neither species lives on the Antarctic continent, but both can be found on the Antarctic Peninsula. There are some cruise lines that now take vacationers to Antarctica but they are too expensive for most people. So it's nice to have a little slice of that world here in our backyard. And guess what? We are finding out that people all over the world are watching the Tennessee Aquarium's penguins on our live web cam. We have heard of some troops in Iraq have been viewing "Penguins' Rock" from time to time. And just the other day we received an e-mail from Sarah who lives in Grandview, Tennessee.
Sarah writes, "Hi, I have been watching the penguins and sent the link to the live cam to my granddaughters who are summering in the Amazon Jungle while their father completes his research on the Biosphere Atmosphere experiment for the Univ. of Arizona. They normally live in Tucson AZ, so the jungle is quite a change for them, and then to be able to watch penguins is even more of a difference!

They are ages 5 and 2, and and are very fascinated with the penguins. We will be viewing the penguins in person when they come to visit us in Tennessee on their way home in August.

Thanks for the Live Penguin Cam!
Thank you Sarah for the fun story. Tell your granddaughters it makes the penguin keeper smile knowing someone in the jungle enjoys watching our little friends.

1 comment:

carol said...

You are very lucky to have such an interesting job. I have a son with aspergers syndrome (an autisim spectrum disorder) His first movie to see in a theater was Happy Feet. Since then he has been facinated by penguins. We hope to visit soon and mabe see my sister who volentiers there (Cookie)
britest blessings Carol Crooks