What is a Penguin Tester?

A Penguin Tester was installed at the Zoological Park in Paris, France. What is a Penguin Tester?

A Penguin Tester is a robot for use in the Humboldt Penguin enclosure at the zoo. The Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) is a marine (saltwater) bird. It is also known as the Peruvian Penguin. 

But the robot is not testing the penguins. The penguins are testing the robot. The penguins are helping zoologisits test that the machine works.

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RESEARCH: Scientists think penguins in Antarctic prefer ice-free conditions

Scientists have been studying penguins in the Antarctic Region.

Polar biologists have seen populations of penguins increase during years when there is not a lot of ice in the region. They have also seen breeding reductions during the years when there is a lot of sea ice. However, they did not know why ice-free conditions made populations increase. But after this recent study, the polar biologists think they know why.

Polar biologists at the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research put electronic global positioning system (GPS) tags on 175 Adelie Penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) in the Antarctic Region. They also put video cameras in different locations to monitor what happens during the four seasons of the year when there are different sea ice conditions.

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Humboldt Penguin

The Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) is a marine (saltwater) bird in the Spheniscidae family of aquatic flightless birds. It is also known as the Peruvian Penguin.

The Humboldt Penguin has a black head with a white border that runs from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin, and joins at the throat. It has blackish-grey upperparts and whitish underparts, with a black chest band that runs down its side to the thigh. It has a pink and black beak.

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Little Penguin

The Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) is the smallest penguin in the world. It is an aquatic marine bird, or sea bird, found on the coastline of southern Australia and New Zealand. They are often called Fairy Penguins because of their size.

The Little Penguin has blue-black smooth fur with a white underbelly. It has two blue-black flippers (that are white on the underside), which enable them to swim in the ocean. It has a dark-grey beak and pink feet with black webbed soles. It has blue-grey or hazel eyes. It preens (cleans) its feathers to keep them waterproof. Near the tail is an oil gland. They use the oil as waterproofing.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Jackass Penguin

The Jackass Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is commonly known as the African Penguin or the Black-Footed Penguin. It is a flightless bird only found off the South Africa coastline, living in colonies on 23 islands.

It is called a Jackass Penguin because it sounds like a donkey braying.

The Jackass Penguin is a small black and white penguin of about 60–70 centimetres (24–28 inches) tall, with a streamlined body. It has pink patches of skin above the eyes and a black face mask. The upper body is black and the under body is white. The under body is spotted with a black band.

The Jackass Penguin has black feet and unique black spots for each penguin.

The pink glands above its eyes are used for thermoregulation, to keep it warm in the cold waters, and cool in hot temperatures. The hotter the penguin gets, the more blood is sent to these glands which become pinker, and then the Jackass Penguin is cooled by the air.

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