Do penguins even have legs?

You know you’re in for a good conversation when it starts with the sentence:

I want to look at a penguin skeleton to see if they even have legs.

Emperor_penguinsIt’s no secret that I love penguins. My love of penguins has been passed down to my son. So much so that if he sees a penguin toy, he must take it and keep it forever. (I lose so many of my penguins this way.)

He loves penguin themed movies, and the most favorite among them are the Penguins of Madagascar movie and Happy Feet. (He seems to have little use for Happy Feet Two though. He likes it because penguins, but he doesn’t get super excited about it.)

Well, my husband decided to deign us with his presence for a bit, and I’d put Happy Feet into the PS3 for the tot. We watched all the special features first, one of which is a tap dancing clip with Savion Glover and baby Mumble dancing together. It was this clip that prompted my husband to question if penguins have legs.

c680ab69363b06c5cf6c3bf9dbbeddddSeeing as I had my computer right in front of me as I worked on a story, I saved my progress and hit up Google image search to find a penguin skeleton. I must admit I was not expecting what I saw. It seems that yes, they do have legs, and they are actually much longer than I had initially thought. We just don’t see how big or long their legs actually are because they’re so adorably fat bottomed. I didn’t even know that many penguins actually do have knees. Given the climate many of them live in it makes sense not to have long legs dangling out. Extremities are the first to get cold and damaged from extreme temperatures. Only the necessary extremities for survival hang off the body. Feet to move and swim with, flippers to propel them through the water, and of course their heads and beaks with which to eat and look around them. The penguin skeleton is actually very fascinating to look at compared to the outward appearance of the creatures.

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3 responses to “Do penguins even have legs?

  1. You have been on a blogging TEAR lately! This one was just awesome. And answered a question I didn’t even know I had.

    And you calling them “adorably fat-bottomed” makes me wanna sing:

    Fat-bottom birds, you make the rockin’ world go ’round! (Which now makes me want to go listen to some Queen.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Looking at both the skeleton and photos of live penguins I think I understand why they waddle now. The fact most of the leg is covered by it’s body rather than sticking out it’s kind of like trying to walk while having your legs trapped in cling wrap down to just below the knees or to the ankles. Not tightly, and just barely enough room to move your hips. Your ass gonna waddle too if you don’t have full range movement of your limbs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t forget that they hunt in the water. I’m guessing they evolved that way in order to swim more efficiently, but at the cost of effective mobility on land.

        I would also say it’s as if their abdominal apron flopped all the way down past their knees.

        They’re still cute, though.

        Liked by 1 person

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