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How Natural Selection Works: a Closer Look at Emperor Penguins

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Everyone loves penguins: their cute waddle, the way they care for their young, and the mothers taking a journey to find food to feed their family. But what one should question, is if the survival of these Emperor Penguins depend on natural selection, luck, or something else?

Natural selection is a theory of evolution where over time, the bad traits are gradually weeded out and the traits that make them able to adapt better survive and reproduce, so that the favorable traits are left. This is a very important theory of evolution, and it holds true in many scenarios. The Emperor Penguins depend on natural selection to thrive in their Antarctic weather. There are many examples of this being true, where this is still happening. When a mother goes off to find food, the male and baby stay behind and wait for the mother to return. If she is not strong enough to make the journey and fails to return, the male will abandon the chick to find food for themselves. This ensures that the weak traits of the mother do not get passed down to the next generation, as the chick dies. When the mother comes back to feed the chick, the male goes to get his own food. Of course, if he cannot make the journey and dies, it prevents him from further breeding and passing on his weak trait. When a storm approaches, only the strong chicks survive. The ones unable to weather the storm are weeded out of the colony.

There are examples of natural selection having already happened. How do the penguins know where to find their breeding ground? My theory for this is that previous penguins have tried breeding closer to the ocean, and the ice was not strong enough to support the breeding group. Over generations, they might have determined where the safest spot was (over 60 miles from the ocean), when other penguins lost their eggs and such if the ice broke and they fell through.

Overall, I very much think that natural selection is at play. Only the strongest penguins can make the journey back and forth between the water and the breeding ground, and only the toughest chicks can survive the storm. Over time, this makes the penguins more resilient and hardy.

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How Natural Selection Works: a Closer Look at Emperor Penguins. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 26, 2023, from
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