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June 17, 2011

Mr. Popper’s Penguins


In 1938 a book was published entitled Mr. Popper’s Penguins. You may have heard this title with the new movie coming out. If you are a penguin enthusiast and an avid young reader this is a fun, imaginary story about Mr. and Mrs. Popper and their Antarctic friends “Captain Cook”, “Greta”, “Nelson”, “Columbus”, “Louisa”, “Jenny”, “Scott”, “Magellan”, “Adelina”, “Isabella”, “Ferdinand” and “Victoria”.  The book takes many twists and turns, eventually ending far from where “Captain Cook” and “Greta” started. This book has been taught as a literature unit in the classroom for years. This book has also inspired some of our penguin biologists to work with penguins today. Those of us lucky enough to spend time with these energetic, quirky birds enjoy their interactions. They cause lots of soap opera like conversations when the biologists discuss their observations. If you watch our African penguin antics, you may have seen them courting, nest building, fighting, swimming, feeding or preening. They are a colony of 17 birds ranging in age from 3 years old to 28 years old. Our oldest penguin is named “Pierre” and wore a penguin wetsuit at one point in his life. If you are 2-8 years old (or you are parents of children of that age) “Pierre the Penguin: A True Story” may interest you. Whether it is through movies, media, aquariums, museums, wildlife trips or books; penguins teach us important lessons and simply entertain us.-Pamela Schaller

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 4:10 pm


  1. Hi Pam,
    I noticed two sea stars in front of Dyer’s burrow/nest today. I’m just wondering how long sea stars can survive out of water. I noticed Dyer and his significant other were stepping on the sea stars. I realize this in normal, but I feel sorry for those sea stars. I was glad to see Brooke put those sea stars back into the water at the 3 o’clock feeding.
    I enjoy watching and listening to the feedings every day. Thank you.

    Comment by Patrice — July 3, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

  2. Hi Patrice, The species of sea star is the Ochre Star. This species was chosen because they are a hearty species that can adapt to being out of water for up to 8 hours or more. In the wild, they are often found out of water on rocks even in the middle of the mid-day sun and while raining. I knew that it was possible that the penguins might take them out of the water; this was planned for.-Pamela Schaller

    Comment by Penguins — July 12, 2011 @ 10:02 am

  3. Fantastic page and simple to fully understand description. How can I go about getting permission to publish part of the post in my upcoming e-newsletter?

    Comment by Annika Kazan — September 13, 2011 @ 6:04 am

  4. Hi Annika, we’re so glad that you’re finding our blog helpful and informative! You can quote text from the blog directly attributed to “biologists at the California Academy of Sciences”. You may also provide a link back to the original post on our blog. Hope that helps and please feel free to check back in if you need further clarification.

    Comment by Penguins — September 14, 2011 @ 9:42 am

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