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Penguins are complex social animals. As in the case of most animals, social contact is a critical component in their development. The animals use the observation method to learn and acquire new knowledge. Mothers alter the way they forage while teaching the young ones. The establishment that penguins operate in groups presents a noteworthy finding in reference to their social life. The view holds since groups require coordination, an aspect on which the penguins excel.
Penguins: Social Creatures
Culture is a contentious term since it draws varied views from different observers. Despite the variations, consensus prevail that culture relates to ways of life. The way of life is learned or passed down to generations. Reasonably, culture is a key differentiating factor between humans and other animals. Irrespective of the popular perception that culture is unique to humans, scholars contend that other animals are capable of having a culture that is shaped by a number of factors and of course passed on to other generations. For instance, chimpanzees have a culture that almost equates to those of humans. Equally discernable, penguins have a culture that is reflected in their social life.
By means of using vocalizing and physical displays, penguins communicate freely. It is also noticeable that the penguins have a variety of vocals as well as displays (Barbraud & Weimerskirch, 2001). Most important, the vocals and displays are used for purposes of mating. The communication is, in most instances, done across the nesting territories. The displays are particularly useful in the identification of mating partners and chick recognition. Equally important, the displays are applicable as a defense mechanism against intruders. Based on this establishment, it is discernable that penguins are creative. This position holds since using displays for purposes of identification indicates that the birds must come up with differentiated approaches. More specifically, male penguins often perform ecstatic displays that indicate the possession of or establishment of nesting sites. Similarly, the displays by males serve as a warning to potential male mates. The birds also pay attention to defense. This is clear based on the idea that they form compact huddles that range from tens to hundreds of birds. In the wall, each bird leans on the next.
The group of birds known as penguins is among the best contenders, which are to reveal cultural trends among animals. Some observers may point out that penguins are incapable of developing a culture or living by one. However, as the paper establishes, penguins are cultured birds that exhibit a distinct form of social life that is worth reviewing. Penguins possess complex features that are reflected in their behavior. Consequently, the behavior of the penguins, which is unique and consistent, constitutes the social culture that this paper examines.
Certain behaviors such as collecting food, hunting and forming a defense unit are vital highlights of the birds. These activities are done in a group set up. As it becomes clear, group activities require some form of coordination. As such, the birds are cultured beings that observe organizational rules such as observance of coordination demands.
As a nesting social animal, the penguin exhibits foraging behavior (Williams, 1995). The birds hunt in groups. The mere establishment that they go about their activities in groups implies that the birds are capable of coordination. The coordination ability is relevant in regards to surfacing and diving. Similarly, the birds are active twenty-four hours a day. In practice, an adult bird is always on the move covering the area between the nesting site and sea foraging locations.
Among penguins, social interaction is not an instinctive form of behavior. Dissimilar to other animals such as humans, penguins are able to move by traversing long distances. However, like humans and other primates, penguins learn behavior from their peers and parents.
In reference to social behavior, often, observers agree that penguins are among the most social birds. Penguins can perform a number of tasks for instance penguins swim. An aspect that proves that they are social birds rests on the understanding that they swim in groups. Equally noticeable, penguins eat in groups. However, when searching for food, some of these birds may do so solitarily. Emperor penguins are known to feed in coordinated groups. As such, the penguins are known to lead themselves through coordination, an aspect that fewer animals are able to fashion.
When the breeding season comes, the penguins gather themselves in colonies referred as rookeries. These groups may cover large swathes of land up to hundreds square kilometers. A section of penguins gathers in thousands, when on land. For instance, the Paulet Island hosts the Adélie penguin colony, which brings together thousands of penguins (Barbraud & Weimerskirch, 2001).
In reference to courtship, penguins are quite intriguing. The birds show intricate courtship behavior, in addition to peculiar mate recognition. The birds use elaborate visual and integrated vocal displays that are useful in sustaining nesting territories (Barbraud & Weimerskirch, 2001). King penguins reflect a highly gregarious when at rookery sites, usually they move in groups of around five to twenty individuals. The realization that kings move in isolated groups shows that penguins are social beings, which have classes.
Studies have shown that penguins use the sun for purposes of navigation (Burger & Gochfeld, 2007). This is especially beneficial when penguins are coming from the land to the sea. Throughout the day, penguins adjust their positions based on the position of the sun.
Often penguins preen their feathers. This follows from the premise that the birds' feathers must be in a prime condition that guarantees insulation and waterproofing. The preening exercise in conducted in the seas.
Some penguins especially, young males have in the past shown peculiar behavior. For instance, studying Adélie penguin reflected that these categories of birds engage in funny behaviors such as sodomy (Fretwell et al, 2012). Moreover, the young male penguins occasionally harass chicks. This behavior has an implication on the standing of penguins in regards to social life. Put bluntly, penguins are rough.
Clearly, the penguins have the ability to influence the environment in which they live. Equally noticeable, these birds possess distinct characteristics that they employ while going about their daily activities. Such activities include hunting, collecting food, feeding the young ones and mounting defenses. Since these activities are complex, instinct may not solely explain the behavior. Consequently, the cultural aspects of the penguin birds are reflected in their social life. Although penguins are unrelated to human beings, this paper establishes that the birds are social beings that are worth studying with a view to documenting how they differ from other animals in reference to culture or social life.
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