Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Les manchots

Penguins! The penguin pool at the Beauval zoo was installed in 2007, so I hadn't seen it the first time I went in 2003. It's nicely done, built into the side of a slope so that on one side people are looking down toward the penguins and on the other they look into the tank below water level.

Humboldt penguins above the water...

As cute as the penguins are above the water, they are sheer elegance below. Speedy and precise swimmers, they are. They zipped by so fast it was hard to get a good clear shot of them under water. And they're much bigger birds than I imagined. These are Humboldt penguins, not the even bigger Emperors.

...and below.

In French, there is a distinction between manchots (penguins in the southern hemisphere) and pinguoins (penguins in the northern hemisphere). The surviving species of pingouin can fly, apparently, whereas manchots cannot fly. Most languages related to French (including English) have dropped the distinction between the two birds and call them all by a form of the word "penguin."


  1. I am easily entertained by watching penguin antics. Thanks for pointing out the difference in the two species.

  2. I didn't know there was a difference between the Yankees and the Rebels. I like they way they walk.

  3. I love all your zoo pictures and have a soft spot for penguins. Thanks for sharing these. Can't wait to explore some new (to us) zoos!

  4. Hmmm... I'm going to stick with just the one word, Penguin.

  5. I think I'll get a couple of pet penguins to keep around the house. They'll keep Boris entertained for hours! The new penguin enclosure looks well designed. I bet they're loving your hot and dry summer (not).

  6. Penguins are so cute - they always remind me of the little kids I saw on many a skiing holiday - just waddle to the top of the slope, stick your wings out and go for it.

  7. Something to consider.
    Did Charlie Chaplin model his walk from the Penguin???
    Anyone heard of the Phillip Island Penguin beaches here in Victoria where 1000s of Tourists have experienced them walk up to the beach and around their feet as they return to their burrows to feed their young.

  8. French penguins?!
    I have heard of everything !

  9. evelyn, they're very fun to watch!

    starman, yankees and rebels? :)

    mitch, I've still never been to the Bronx Zoo.

    bosguy, it's easier that way. I agree.

    craig, I can't imagine the fun Callie would have chasing penguins around the yard!

    jean, especially in their padded coats. :)

    leon, I think I saw something about that on television once.

    michael, you can always tell the French ones: they sip a little champagne with their fish. ;)

  10. starman, oh, I got it. I married a southerner. I'm from New York. His family still call me a Yankee.


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