2.3.3 A Penguin Foraging Simulation Game
Display materials for this Activity and tell students that they will be simulating the foraging behavior of penguins. Have them review the Adelie fact sheet, and discuss items which seem most of interest to your class, setting the foraging simulation in its real-world context. Explain that the washers, toothpicks, M&Ms, and marbles represent penguin food items. Then demonstrate the use of the clothespin to represent a penguin's bill! The object of the game is to capture as much "prey" (in the paper cup) as you can within a time limit. The goal is to accumulate 500 points, expending the least energy in the shortest period of time.Sidebar: Foraging Facts
Many factors contribute to the chick-raising and foraging success of penguins in Antarctica, including:
Adapted with permission from the Los Marineros Curriculum Guide, a marine science curriculum available from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History at 805-682-4711, ext. 311.
Use a globe to show that all 17 species of penguins live south of the equator. One species, the Galapagos penguin, lives on the equator in the path of the cold Peru Current. Seven kinds of penguins visit Antarctica, but only two species, the Adelie and Emperor penguins, breed exclusively on the Antarctic continent.
How are the adult Adelie penguins able to survive while sitting on the nest? (Blubber or body fat is a primary food source.)
Penguins are the only birds that migrate by swimming. Students can research and map their migration routes, up the west coast of South America to Tetal Point in northern Chile, or up to the east coast of South America past Argentina as far north as Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Estimate the distances they travel. Using satellite images located on-line, students can match the migratory routes of penguins with the location of currents. What assumptions can they make about migration routes by looking at infrared imagery? (penguins follow cold water currents)
Research North America's own "penguins," the flightless Great Auks. Learn how Great Auks were similar to penguins. Find out why they were slaughtered (for food, their feathers, and for stuffed specimens). These birds became extinct in 1844 when two museum collectors landed on a remote island off Iceland, strangled the last surviving pair for their collection and then smashed the last egg.
Information on Flightless Birds, Behavior, Breeding, Locomotion, Colonies,
Adelies, Emperors, Gentoos, Chinstraps and Crested penguins
Sounds and sights from wildlife sound recordist and NSF Artist-in-Residence,
Doug Quin, including penguins, leopard and Weddell seals, and the sounds
The Adelie Penguin Monitoring Program of the Australian Antarctic Division
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