Antarctica Adventure - 2002

We learned that if they are overheated, the underside of the flipper will be pinkish because the capillaries there are the only way they can release heat. Jumping into the water helps insofar as it bathes and cools those blood vessels in the flippers because the rest of the penguin body is so well insulated that they do not lose heat in other body parts. So we saw lots of little pink under-wings as they enjoyed the unaccustomed sunshine and warmth; it was probably up to 35 degrees F. To give the fur seals the wide berth required, we had to ford a little glacier stream with rather steep and crumbly sides. While we worked at figuring out the best way to get down the slope, into the swift waters, and onto the other side, the chinstraps merrily crossed much more gracefully than most of us. They look such merry little fellows, with a dark “chinstrap” line under their bills in the white part of their head; it actually almost looks like they are grinning broadly.

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