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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