Featured Image Credit: National Geographic
We’re not sure why but Gentoo penguins actually like the cold weather. They hunt for prey in freezing cold water while making strange buzzing sounds. But a recent breakthrough made scientists realize just why these penguins make these noises. The penguins like to hang out with each other by being very social and mingling. Gentoo penguins live in large social groups in order to find mates, protect offspring, and claim territory. However, scientists could not figure out why they make sounds when they are hunting.
They discovered Gentoo penguins are using these vocalizations to hunt together too! Penguin calls in the water were studied with cameras and audio tools by observing calls and outcomes. They found that about 50% of the time a penguin’s call would receive responses from other penguins.
What’s really unique is that they don’t enter the water as a pack but form one underneath with their vocalizations!
The Penguin Language
Once one penguin called out to other penguins, their dives became shallower and shorter. This also caused the penguins to move to different areas. They seemed to be communicating about where the large school of Antarctic krill was. When one penguin found a large patch of krill, they called the other penguins to eat as well!
Gentoo penguins aren’t the only penguins to hunt in groups. There are little penguins or fairy penguins that synchronize their dives to hunt fish. Teamwork is key in many penguin groups.
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