Penguins are very social creatures no matter which species of them you happen to be talking about. They all live in colonies even though the number that belongs to each one will vary significantly based on location and the species. Penguins communicate through a variety of different sounds. There is plenty of communication that goes on too for fun, protection, and even when it comes to the mating process.
Penguins are very effective communicators, especially with their mates. This is due to the fact that they have to work together in order to care for the eggs and for the offspring. Researchers believe that they are able to communicate on different frequencies. That is why they are able to find each other rather than being drowned out by the vocalization of all of they other penguins in the area.
This makes sense though when you consider that penguins in a given colony almost always look identical to each other. There are some exceptions where each one has some unique stripes or spots. It is believed that the vocalization for each penguin is slightly different from the next. It is also believed that they tune in to those of their mate and offspring.
You will notice that the level of communication among penguins significantly increases around mating seasons. The males are louder and vocal more often due to them being the ones to initiate the mating in most species of penguins. Researchers have placed the various calls among penguins into three distinct categories. The most common one is the contact call. This is very similar to how we say hello to those we see in our daily routines.
A display call is one that is directed to a specific member of the colony. It is often saved for mates and for offspring. They can also be used by penguins to lay a claim to their territory within the colony. Threat calls are generally not used very often because most penguins aren’t aggressive. Yet they can be when they feel threatened, during mating season, and to protect their young.
There are certain types of communication among penguins when they are looking for a mate. These types of calls won’t be found though as often among species where they mate with one other for life. It is also believed that where they get to nest also depends on their level of communication with others in the colony. Those that are the best communicators are going to get the prime locations.
It isn’t just through vocalization though that penguins are able to communicate with each other. They also display a variety of behaviors that they display. They have rituals that are used to help calm each other down after a threat has been identified and then passed. They also have a stance that they use to prevent intruders from coming into their nesting area.
Watching how the parents communicate with their offspring is very inspiring. They use non verbal movements to encourage them to move, to get into the water, and even to feed. They are very patient and caring nurturers which is very interesting to observe. It is also possible to see signs of affection that a mating pair will exhibit for each other.
Penguins are very intelligent and it is know that they are great communicators. However, there is still plenty we don’t understand about what they are interacting about. Even with careful observation and speculation there is more that has to be done before we will completely understand this aspect of the penguin culture.