New exhibits at The Vancouver Aquarium are always something that our family looks forward to. When I heard that the Aquarium was adding a new section to their already wonderful attraction, I was truly thrilled to learn more about how I could be involved. Luckily for me, I was contacted by the Aquarium to visit the newly opened Penguin Point exhibit with a select group of other Vancouver bloggers. It was such a privilege to be included in this event, I made a point to get out to Vancouver on Wednesday evening to meet the newest members of the Vancouver Aquarium family.
We were invited to enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner that was wonderful despite the soggy weather, while getting to know a bit more about our new penguin friends.
Penguin Point is a great little exhibit in the outdoor section of the Aquarium. The animals that we’ve acquired are African Penguins, and we have six of them. I learned that there are actually eighteen species of penguins, which is way more than I would have thought. The most well-known species of penguin is the Emperor Penguin, which is generally the penguin that you’ll see in movies or documentaries. The penguins that we’ve obtained in Vancouver do indeed live in Africa! I bet you thought that penguins were all from cold climates, didn’t you?
At the special event highlighting this exhibit, we learned that these penguins travel about four times faster than their prey, primarily anchovies and sardines. This is probably partially because penguins have developed flipper shaped wings that resemble fins. They’ve also got hooked beaks that help them to eat those slippery fish without losing them back in the water. What awesome adaptations to have! One thing that penguins are having trouble adapting to, however, is the amount of fish that people are taking from the ocean. That’s why the Aquarium has become involved in a program specifically designed to show you, the consumer what the smartest choice is for buying sustainable seafood products. Next time you’re headed to the supermarket, take a look at the Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise page which will help you find out which options you should purchase for your family in order to benefit precious sea life and avoid harming ecosystems that aquatic animals rely on.
If you’re feeling a little jealous right now about my chance to visit with these beautiful birds, worry no longer. Not only is the Penguin Point exhibit open to the public at The Vancouver Aquarium now, You can check these guys out during their waking hours at the Vancouver Aquarium Penguin Cam! The staff has even asked us bloggers to reach out to ask for your help…
See, each of these little penguins is as of yet lacking a name, and the Aquarium staff have opened up the naming to suggestions. What they’re looking for are names of towns and cities in British Columbia which would suit some of these guys as names, and which would help to welcome them to the province. If you’ve got some suggestions for BC based names, enter the Penguin Naming Contest now!