Penguins in History
Penguins in History
Early explorers were quite impressed as they traveled around and discovered these flightless birds. They
certainly had never seen anything like them before. It is believed they were first identified around 1490 in the
waters and shores of Africa. Many of these explorers documented what they saw and even drew pictures of the
penguins to show to others.
The credit for finding these penguins and bringing attention to them though is highly debated in the world of
history. Many people believe that it is Vasco da Gama that showed proof that they existed; others believe that is
was Ferdinand Magellan. This may or may not be true though depending on what history books you read. For
example some will say that the Megallanic Penguin was named after him. Yet other history books will tell you that
they are named after the Straits of Magellan.
The truth is that there is still plenty about the history of penguins that we really don’t know about. We have
some of the pieces though and continue to find more all the time. The wholes though are filled in with theories and
other information that is possible, yet not yet proven. That is why you will find such conflicting information out
there about penguins in history. It comes down to the specific theories that some people are interested in
believing while not accepting others.
In the mid 1800’s there is documentation of fossils found that fit the description of penguins. These fossils
have been studied in great detail but top scientists around the world. They have come to the conclusion that
penguins have been on Earth for more than 55 million years. They have concluded that they evolved from earlier
forms of birds in order to survive. There are about 40 species of them that have been proven to once live but that
are now extinct according to the types of fossils that have been discovered.
There is certainly plenty of interesting behaviors about penguins though they have been recorded throughout
history. One of them has to do with females and the chicks. For example if one of their own dies for some reason
they are very likely going to try to still one from another penguin in their colony. Yet if a female dies and can’t
care for its young the orphan won’t be taken in by another female in the group. Such decisions tend to be emotional
in nature rather than instinctive and that is puzzling to experts.
Other information that they have been able to determine is based on the fact that penguins are highly adaptable
to different things in their environment. This is believed to be why they have evolved over the course of time.
Such theories are further credible when you consider the evidence that has been uncovered with fossils. Thanks to
DNA testing, experts have been able to proof without a doubt that these early findings are definitely related to
the penguins alive today.
It is important to note that we don’t want all we know of penguins to only be in history. Yet if we don’t pay
attention to conservation efforts, global warming, and the continued destruction of the natural habitat that will
certainly be the case. We already know that the numbers of penguins out there are dropping so we have to take
efforts to change that. We want to see these birds alive and well for many further generations to enjoy. Learn all
you can though about penguins in history so you can understand them in new ways. Just don’t lose sight of the fact
that we need to focus our attention on their future as well.