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Mitos y Leyendas: The Penguins

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Los pingüinos, Aves, Hielo, MundoNow, Podcast
The Penguins, Shutterstock
  • Genny de Bernardo shares with you the legend of why penguins cannot fly.
  • She also shares a couple of interesting facts about these little animals.
  • They are wonderful birds with amusing characteristics.

Penguins lead very interesting lives. They form large communities that could be considered more like cities, with pathways leading to the sea in search of food.

As they walk, they sway back and forth like pendulums, taking short steps. If hurried, they can stumble and fall.

When they find a mate, they stay together for life; according to legend, if one dies, the other retreats to the sea never to return.

In these large penguin congregations, each one knows the exact location of its nest and rarely gets confused; if it does, the other penguins chase it away after giving it a beating to teach it a lesson, believing it’s stealing eggs.

The Silly Bird

Silly, Snow, North Pole, MundoNow, Podcast

At certain times of the year, the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands visit these colonies to collect eggs, considering them an excellent food source.

Penguins are known for their charm, though sometimes they’re called «silly birds» because if one stumbles in a line, all the others follow suit.

The legend goes that «many years ago, penguins had large wings with which they flew freely at great heights. They moved swiftly through the air and perched on trees near rivers or the sea.

From there, they looked down upon the fish, considering them inferior, unaware that life on the planet began in the sea.»

Penguins Cannot Fly

Sea, Wave, Bird, MundoNow, Podcast

The penguin is a palmipedal seabird that cannot fly due to its reduced flipper-like wings.

It feeds on crustaceans and other small marine animals, nests in large colonies, and lays one or two eggs.

It has a black head with a white band extending to the neck, a black beak with a red spot at the base.

It is common in Tierra del Fuego, the Patagonian coast, and the Falkland Islands.

A Punishment

The penguins, Ice, Island, Legend, Podcast

But continuing with the legend, it’s said that it despised fish so much that it not only fed on them but sometimes killed them with its strong beak, even without being hungry, just for pleasure.

God, watching everything from his throne, decided to punish it, not by taking away its bird status, but by condemning it to be unable to fly and to spend most of its life in the cold waters of the south.

Thus, the penguin’s wings shortened and it could no longer fly, having to learn to swim like the fish it had despised in its previous life.

Mitos y Leyendas bids you farewell for now and hopes that this penguin legend has been to your liking. Until next time!

Mitos y Leyendas
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