1. Penguin calls (vocalizations) are individually identifiable, allowing partners to recognize each other and also their chick. This is important since the members of a large colony of penguins are nearly indistinguishable on sight (del Hoyo, et al., 1992).
2. Research has identified differences in the calls of male and female emperor penguins. These differences probably function in courtship and mate selection.
3. There are three main kinds of penguin calls.
a. The contact call is usually used at sea to assist in visual recognition of colony members. The contact call of emperor and king penguins can be heard one kilometer (0.6 mi.) away (del Hoyo, et al., 1992).
b. The display call is the most complex of all the calls and is used between partners in a colony. The call must convey information on territorial, sexual, and individual recognition (del Hoyo, et al., 1992).
c. The threat call is the simplest and is used to defend a territory and warn against predators (del Hoyo, et al., 1992).
Penguins communicate by vocalizing and performing physical behaviors called displays. They use many vocal and visual displays to communicate nesting territories, mating information, nest relief rituals, partner and chick recognition, and defense against intruders (Sparks and Soper, 1987; Simpson, 1976).
Longevity and Causes of Death
SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Animal Information Database
www.seaworld.org / www.buschgardens.org
©2002 Busch Entertainment Corporation.
All Rights Reserved.