penguins

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Design Science

Japanese Aquariums Track Penguins' Dramatic, Salacious Love Lives Through Complex Flowcharts

July 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

From Sumida Aquarium. All images © Kyoto Aquarium and Sumida Aquarium

Like most romances, penguins’ relationships aren’t black and white. The aquatic birds’ are known for their scandalous affairs, messy heartbreaks, and frequent kidnappings of each others’ chicks. To keep track of their complicated relationship statuses, caretakers at the Tokyo’s Sumida Aquarium and Kyoto Aquarium have created a complex network documenting 2020’s romances.

The two flowcharts are replete with color-coded lines and symbols: Red hearts denote couples. Purple lines with question marks signify more complicated relationships with the potential of romance. A blue, broken heart indicates an ended affair. Yellow lines mean friendship, while green marks an enemy. Each penguin’s name is written underneath its photo.

In an interview with CNN Travel, Shoko Okuda, a spokeswoman for the aquariums, said the caretakers have included the dramatic birds’ flirtatious tactics, too, which includes wing flapping and shaking their necks left to right. Heartbroken birds—one female in Kyoto (shown below) ended six relationships last year alone—often refuse to eat their rice as they cope with the loss. The caretakers included have formed strong bonds with the penguins, sometimes even coming between same-species connections.

And remember, these are just the charts for 2020. Be sure to check back in with the Kyoto and Sumida caretakers to see what unfolds for 2021’s edition. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

From Sumida Aquarium

From Sumida Aquarium

From Kyoto Aquarium

From Kyoto Aquarium

 

 



Art

Tuxedoed Penguins Plunge into A Private Tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

May 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Nelson-Atkins Museum, by Gabe Hopkins

On a recent trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, three penguins from the Kansas City Zoo were keen to ruffle some feathers. As they waddled along their private tour— the museum currently is closed to humans due to COVID-19—Bubbles, Maggie, and Berkley served some polarizing opinions. Executive director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia said the tuxedoed guests “seemed to react much better to Caravaggio than Monet,” whose work they only glance at in a video of their trip.

Despite the cold shoulders that they gave the French painter, zoo officials said the penguins enjoyed interacting with some new faces. “Unfortunately, our penguins can’t speak for themselves, but we think they found the experience at the museum very enriching.”

Zugazagoitia also noted that he spoke Spanish to the three birds, who are native to Chile and Peru, in order to break the ice and make them feel a little bit more comfortable in the space. All three are Humboldt penguins under eight years old, meaning that they’ve got more time to refine their tastes. The South American birds generally live more than 30 years.

The museum’s resident photographer Gabe Hopkins captured much of the sophisticated guest’s visit, which he’s shared on Flickr. (via ArtNet News)

 

 

 



Art

An Interactive Mirror Built from 450 Rotating Penguins by Daniel Rozin

June 4, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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It’s only been a week since we featured Daniel Rozin's new fur mirror, and lucky for us there’s also a second mirror artwork currently on view at bitforms. The Penguins Mirror is an interactive mirror constructed with 450 stuffed penguins atop rotating motors. If you think the idea sounds ludicrous, it is. Ludicrously amazing. As with many of his other kinetic mirrors, Rozin makes use of the black and white color tones found on the stuffed animals to generate moving silhouettes in response to movements captured by video cameras. You can see the Penguins Mirror through the end of the month as part of Rozin’s Descent with Modification exhibition at bitforms gallery in New York.

 

 



Photography

The Last Thing You Would See If You Were Eaten by a Penguin

December 4, 2013

Christopher Jobson

penguin

G Adventures

While exploring Antarctica aboard the M/S Expedition, the folks over at G Adventures snapped this wild perspective of a Gentoo penguin attacking their GoPro camera. The photo was shared on the M/S Expedition Twitter account where they regularly document the sights of ongoing adventure cruises. Related: an eagle steals a GoPro camera.