Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

reflections

Melchior Islands

Jaws of hell

Poseidon... or is it Neptune... looking down on the madmen entering his realm....
Imagine he grinds his teeth right now...

The mouth of the sirene....

Everybody knows what is inside, but still it is tempting to go and try to have a look....

signs of danger

The front of a glacier collapses in the very moment when this yacht passes....



Different types of penguins

A giant amongst us.... kings penguin, chinstrap and gentoo...

Adelie penguin
There are 38 colonies of Adelie penguins and over 5 million Adelies in the Ross Sea Region. With a reduction in sea ice and scarcity of food, their numbers have dropped by 65% over the past 25 years

Gentoo penguin
The total breeding population is estimated to be over 300,000 pairs on the subantarctic islands

Chinstrap penguin
There are approximately 7,500,000 breeding pairs in the South Sandwich Islands, Antarctica, the South Orkneys, South Shetland, South Georgia, Bouvet Island, Balleny and Peter Island.

living in a world of luxury: Magellanic penguin in a colony in the Beagle Channel close to Ushuaia:
Breeding in coastal Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil, this is the most numerous of penguins.

The penguin highway

Penguins tend to have problems walking in deep snow....
therefore they walk in each others path, thereby creating a veritable penguin highway

if nothing helps nay more, sliding on your tummy is the last option

trails of shit

Gentoo penguin's nests are frequently surrounded by a corona of white trails - they depose of their shit with an remarkable force equalling the pressure in a car tyre. This was actually subject of the research of a Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of the University of Bremen in Germany, who was nominated for the ignoble (alternative) Nobel prize. He found out, that the force is needed, because the contents of the intestines is so acid that their skin and feathers would be damaged if it would stay on there.

thirsty?

Eat some snow....

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The fight for stones....

Some penguins, like Adelies and Gentoos, breed in nests build from little stones

However, the little stones are sometimes hard to find.....

If all are already taken, penguin has to turn to theft.....

Carry away the booty....

Sometimes in a haste, if the penguin police was watching....

But there are also other dangers....

Other birds, like Snow petrels and Skuas, want to get an egg or a chick for snack
So you have to watch out.....

Till after success finally comes.....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Of penguins and men

Curious Gentoo penguin....

Charcot in January 1909:

"An Adelie penguin jumped on the ice, holding in its beak a very big fish. Boland seized on it, and the fish, of a kind new to us, is now in a bottle; but the easily comprehensible anger of the poor penguin was comic. In a perfect fury it accompanied the robber right back to the ship, protesting energetically."

Charcot in 1909:

"We spent a good hour amusing ourselves with a penguin which refused to leave us. We stuck on his head now a cap, now a mitten, and nothing could have been funnier than this grotesquely muffled creature running along the snow and trying to free himself. What was most curious, he seemed himself to be delighted with the game, coming back to us, stretching out his head, and evincing great satisfaction."

Sorry, didn's mean to disturb you....

Sheathbill picking at the tail of a sea leopard....

What a hypochondriac....

Strangers in a strange world....

who dares to disturb my afternoon nap?

Even so seals are so big, your tend to overlook them, when you are wandering around lost in your thoughts or concentrating on your photos. They do no move and have the same colour as the rocks....



Giants and dwarfs

The Southern Elephant seal is the world's biggest seal. Males can grow to 3.5 tons and 5 m in length. They can dive for 2 hours and up to 1.5 km deep

Contemplating the limits of life....

Whale vertebrate and Gentoo penguin...

Not only penguins are birds.....

Skuas

and this one, which joined us as a passenger for a while, we called "Barbara"
(look at the feet)

and a young Skua looking for its mama....


In 1908, Charcot wrote:

"Very often, almost every time we land, we have to put up with the attacks of the megalestris, and its sharp beak and strong flight justify fear"



Cape petrels....

and Albatrosses seems to never rest. They always fly and yet they barely move a wing

a wandering albatross - using the thermic uplift a wave can give him

Blue eyed shags
breeding at the few places which are not covered by ice