Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Winter With Emperor Penguins In Antarctica

The German photographer and filmmaker Stephen Christman spent two winters in Antarctica or in the Attica Bay of the South Pole with a herd of more than 10,000 ‘Emperor’ penguins.

Christman worked as a camera assistant and campaign photographer for the BBC’s Dynasty series. The program was presented by Sir David Antenbra.

Christman also took photos for National Geographic international magazine, and his picture won the National History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in 2019.

In his new book, Penguin: A History of Survival, he published some of his favorite photos from Antarctica. Christman first spent the winter of 2012 in Antarctica when he was working as a geophysicist or geologist for the Alfred Wagner Institute.

Picture by: Stephen Christman

Winter with emperor penguins in the Antarctic

He spent about fifteen months without a break at Newman Station Three near Atika Bay in Antarctica, where about 10,000 emperor penguins congregate each year.

Christman said, “Winter in Antarctica means you’ll either be there all season or not for a day.” He said that air travel from Antarctica becomes very difficult in winter and it becomes very difficult for people to come and go from there.

The emperor penguin’s secret weapon and strategy to survive the winter is to gather in one place. The emperor penguins gather in one place to protect themselves from the extremely low temperatures, stand close to each other and hide their heads in the penguins’ shoulders from them.

They gather in one place to protect each other with the help of their body heat, and the temperature in the room of this gathering reaches 37 degrees Celsius. Emperor penguins were created for many things, but when it comes to breeding / mating it is clear that it is not in their nature to balance them out.

Emperor penguinsPicture by: Stephen Christman

When a male penguin climbs on the back of a female penguin out of intimacy, he has difficulty maintaining his balance and looks like he’s practicing surfing the waves.

Christman describes his campaign in Antarctica as “very interesting and boring”. The base is very spacious and modern and there is nothing essential to a normal life that you do not have.

It all seems new and interesting at first, but then you miss your friends and family and you miss everything you do in your home.

The worst here are the storms that last for several weeks when the whole station shakes and the plates in the dining room shake. You feel like you are in prison these days. But it’s a part of life on the ward and you can only imagine the happy days here after seeing the hardest days here.

Winter with penguins in Antarctica 7Picture by: Stephen Christman

Emperor penguins do not build nests and carefully lay their tender eggs on their claws. With each step she carefully turns the egg so that it receives warmth from all sides. When the female penguins lay eggs, they pass the eggs on to their males and leave the colony.

Female penguins need food to regain their energy instantly. In the early days of egg-laying, many women begin their long journey alone to the top of the ocean.

Christman and his team do not wear camouflage and orange clothing so they can be easily found if they get lost in a blizzard. Most emperor penguins know people who walk around in orange clothes. It is not in their nature to run away because there are no land animals to hunt. They are only endangered by patrol birds and by leopard seals in the sea.

When penguins gather to conserve energy and heat in the cold Antarctic climate, there are always a few penguins that have gained heat. Mostly they come from their colony to greet us as we approach them carefully and slowly. We always consider them our welcoming committee.

Christman says the sounds of about 10,000 penguins are amazing. “Your voices are like a clarinet. For a lot of people this sound will be offensive and harsh, but I don’t think it’s true. That voice is the voice of life in this last part of the world where life is impossible so it’s a very beautiful song to me.

 Penguins in Antarctica

People all hear their voices the same, but each has a different voice and its own melody and intimidation that represents each individual’s own identity. Emperor penguin pairs recognize each other in thousands of identical penguins by their unique sounds and movements.

One of the emperor penguin’s behaviors that no one has ever understood is their children’s play days, which are decided by their parents. Usually two adult penguins carry their young on their paws, stand in front of them and pick them up, and this is how the babies meet. Sometimes they stand so close that their chests collide and they stand on top of each other.

Winter in Antarctica Picture by: Stephen Christman

Collection Strategies Baby penguins must learn in the early days of their lives. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Larger penguins gather more organized and calmer, but smaller penguins try to jump on top of each other to get to the center.

Sooner or later they realize that everyone has the opportunity to intervene. In these fascinating scenes, Christman also warns of danger.

Winter with penguins

He says the rising sea temperatures over the past few decades have softened and destabilized the sea ice in these areas.

Emperor penguins usually breed on sea ice, but it will be so unstable that they will have to speed up their annual sweeping process. When it is time to return to the sea, they will have to make dangerous leaps off the icy cliffs. This view is very appealing, but it really shouldn’t be.

Unfortunately, the harmful effects of human methods on the natural environment can also be felt in remote areas where there are no human populations.

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Winter with emperor penguins in the Antarctic

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