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Amazing Penguin Photos From National Geographic

With permission, © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic

Penguins have always been amazingly photogenic how could they not be, when they wear a tuxedo every day? But National Geographic’s November issue is going to feature some of the most beautiful photos you’ve ever seen. The following is an excerpt from the November edition of National Geographic magazine:

When an emperor penguin swims through the water, it is slowed by the friction between its body and the water, keeping its maximum speed somewhere between four and nine feet a second. But in short bursts the penguin can double or even triple its speed by releasing air from its feathers in the form of tiny bubbles. These reduce the density and viscosity of the water around the penguin’s body, cutting drag and enabling the bird to reach speeds that would otherwise be impossible. (As an added benefit, the extra speed helps the penguins avoid predators such as leopard seals.)

Here’s a sneak preview of the photos. Prepare to be amazed.

nggallery id=’128014′

  • Need for Speed 1 of 5
    Need for Speed
    Preparing to launch from the sea to the sea ice, an emperor penguin reaches maximum speed.

    With permission, © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic
  • Who Said Penguins Can’t Fly? 2 of 5
    Who Said Penguins Can't Fly?
    An airborne penguin shows why it has a need for speed: To get out of the water, it may have to clear several feet of ice. A fast exit also helps it elude leopard seals, which often lurk at the ice edge.

    With permission, © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic
  • Penguin Playground 3 of 5
    Penguin Playground
    Life is safer at the colony, where predators are few and company is close.

    With permission, © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic
  • No, YOU Go First 4 of 5
    No, YOU Go First
    The danger of ambush by leopard seals is greatest when entering the water, so penguins sometimes linger at the edge of an ice hole for hours, waiting for one bold bird to plunge in.

    With permission, © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic
  • Swimming With Penguins 5 of 5
    Swimming With Penguins
    "These penguins have probably never seen a human in the water," says photographer Paul Nicklen, "but it took them only seconds to realize that I posed no danger. They relaxed and allowed me to share their hole in the sea ice."

    With permission, © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic

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