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   Image courtesy of Jean Pennycook / Penguin Science

From: Jean Pennycook
Cape Royds, Antarctica, January 13, 2008

Teenagers Need Lots of Sleep

Adelie Penguin chicks grow to be 30 times their birth weight in just 50 days. This is an extraordinary growth rate, and they will need to grow a completely new set of feathers as well before they can be on their own. To support that rate of growth, each chick eats about 60 lbs in that 50 day period.

It seems all the chicks do is eat and sleep. Depending on the weather, we see them bundled up against each other, sprawled out on the ground like kids at the beach, using their friends as a mattress, finding a soft rock to curl up on, or even sleeping on their heads. When the parents return from foraging for food they stand near the crèche and call their chick. Instantly the chick wakes up and begins begging for its meal. Besides sleeping, eating is a chick's favorite thing to do.

To learn more about Adelie Penguins, visit http://www.penguinscience.com/classroom_home.php or Life in the polar regions

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Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2007

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