There is no denying it, penguins are cute! They are also intriguing animals. Despite not being able to fly, “the penguin seems to have a greater range of ways to move than any other bird. [They] paddle, porpoise and flipper through the water, rocket and surf to reach the shore, then waddle, run hop leap and toboggan over the land” (p 26).
The author, Wayne Lynch, is a Medical Doctor turned science writer and nature photographer. He describes himself as a “penguin addict” and his passion for his subject shows in this fascinating book.
Penguins of the World is detailed and scientific enough for an ornithologist reader, but is is also written in a conversational and engaging style about a fascinating, but little understood animal which everyone recognizes but few of us know many facts about.
For example, did you know that there are only seventeen species of penguin? This figure may change because some scientists think there are a few more species and some a few less because some lump several species together as one and some split one species into several. Also only seven of the seventeen species ever go near the Antarctic. They range from the Galapagos Islands, right on the equator, to deep inside the Antarctic Circle and are adapted to the greatest climate range of any group of birds.
The book is arranged in informative chapters, some with odd titles like “Sex and the Single Penguin.” They cover everything you might need to know about the biology and lifestyles of penguins. It is filled throughout with stunning photographs by the author, and you can be entertained and learn a lot without reading a word.
Penguins of the World is a great choice for bird lovers who want to find out more about this unusual bird. I also recommend it for people who love great nature writing. And of course if you cried during March of the Penguins, this book is a must read to fill in the details about the majestic Emperor Penguins and all of their relatives.
Check the WRL catalog for Penguins of the World.