The Behavior of Penguins

Adapted to Ice and Tropics

By Dietland Muller-Schwarze

Subjects: Animal Behavior
Series: SUNY series on Animal Behavior
Paperback : 9780873958677, 193 pages, June 1985
Hardcover : 9780873958660, 193 pages, June 1985

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Maps
Part 1. Penguins in General
1. History
2. Penguins in General
The Penguin Species
Penguins by Groups
3. Zoogeographic Regions and their Characteristic Penguins
Antarctic Penguins
Continental Antarctic Penguins
Maritime Antarctic Penguins
Subantarctic Penguins
Temperate Zone and Tropical Penguins
4. Penguins as Social Birds
5. Penguins as Diving Birds
6. The Phylogeny of Penguins
7. The Role of Penguins in their Ecosystem
8. Penguins are Special Birds
Anatomical Adaptations to the Polar Climate
Behavioral Adaptations to the Polar Climate
Part II. The Penguin Species
1. The Adelie Penguin
Physical Features
Seasonal Migrations
Breeding Biology
Nest Building
Pair Bond
Breeding Behavior
Raising the Young
Fighting and Threatening: Agonistic Behavior
Activity Rhythms
Predators and Predation
The Leopard Seal as Predator
Birds as Predators
Anti-Predator Behavior
Diet and Foraging
2. The Chinstrap Penguin
Physical Features
Breeding Biology
3. The Gentoo Penguin
Physical Features
Breeding Biology
4. The Emperor Penguin
Physical Features
History of Discovery
Breeding Biology
5. The King Penguin
Physical Features
Breeding Biology
6. The Crested Penguins
Rockhopper Penguin
Macaroni Penguin
Royal Penguin
Fjordland Crested Penguin
Snares Island Penguin
Erect-Crested Penguin
7. The Banded Penguins
Black-Footed Penguin
Magellanic Penguin
Humboldt (Peruvian) Penguin
Galapagos Penguin
8. Fairy Penguins
Little Blue Penguin
White-Flippered Penguin
9. The Yellow-Eyed Penguin
10. Comparative Ethnology and the Evolution of Penguins


"Strange geese." That was their description when they were discovered in 1520 during Magellan's historic voyage. Today, penguins are familiar to everyone, yet few researchers have observed them in the remote regions in which they live.

Written by an ecologist-behaviorist who has worked extensively in the natural penguin habitat, The Behavior of Penguins is the first general work on the entire family of penguins. Numerous and remarkable field photographs document the author's detailed study of the life cycles and breeding patterns of each penguin species. He brings to light their unusual abilities to go with little food for months, to dive deep in the ocean, and to protect themselves in extreme environments. Müller-Schwarze's comprehensive and fascinating account of penguins also emphasizes the urgent need to protect these birds and their natural habitat.

Dietland Müller-Schwarze is Professor of Biology at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse.