Portrait of a Very Happy Gentoo Penguin

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This gripping video details the real-life story of a gentoo penguin, Pygoscelis papua, being chased by a pod of hungry orcas, Orcinus orca, in Antarctica [5:01].

The submitter, Antarctica. SRSLY. writes: This has got to be one very, very relieved penguin! Probably thinking something along the lines of “I don’t know if these strange creatures in the black rubber iceberg will eat me, but I KNOW the things in the water will eat me!”
This video was given to me by the chef at Vernadsky, the Ukrainian research station about 90 miles south of where I’m currently living (Palmer Station, Antarctica).


About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Portrait of a Very Happy Gentoo Penguin

  1. Oxter says:

    Cool video, but who gets the idea to add stupid music to something like this?

  2. phisrow says:

    “C’mon guys, throw the penguin back. What are you, class traitors?”

  3. The Ridger says:

    Hey, orcas have babies, too, you know.
    Plus, those scientists just interfered with evolution! Can’t they lose their Evil Darwinist Conspiracy Party cards for that?

  4. Art says:

    The existence of the video proves it didn’t happen but I was half expecting the whales to flip the boat to get to the penguin. The whales seemed to understand that their prey was on the boat he/she hadn’t just disappeared. Perhaps they have more restraint than us humans.
    I didn’t see any of the people in exposure suits. Which means that if they were dunked and failed to get out or get help they would be incapacitated in a very few minutes and dead from hypothermia shortly after that. Then there is always the chance the whales would nibble on them.
    That said the penguin is mighty cute. Even though the whales are doing the whole ‘circle of life’ thing inviting the little guy to lunch I’m still glad the penguin got away, even if just for a time.