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Photographer's Note

There are two interesting facets to this photograph - the penguin and the place itself.

This is shot at Curio Bay on the Catlins Coast in Southland - the bottom of New Zealand's South Island. By the late Jurassic period, New Zealand was an extensive landmass linked to nearby parts of Gondwana (Australia/Antarctica).

At that time Curio Bay was a broad floodplain flanked by active volcanoes which flooded the forests with volcanic debris. The lower parts of the trees were buried and turned to stone. The trunks that lie exposed were carried in by the flood and were partially buried. Due to the very complete nature of this process known as 'silification', the petrified wood and its texture are of an unusually high quality. It looks very much like real wood yet feels just like stone. Curio Bay is the site of one of the world's finest fossil forests. The platform of petrified stumps, fallen trees and fern imprints are easily accessible at low tide.

The Yellow-eyed Penguin or Hoiho is walking over this magnificent Jurassic forest. The species breeds around the South Island of New Zealand, as well as Stewart, Auckland and Campbell Islands.

This is a fairly large penguin, averaging 75 cm (30 in) long and weighing about 6.3 kg (14 lbs). It has a pale yellow head and paler yellow iris with black feather shafts. The chin and throat are brownish-black. There is a band of bright yellow running from its eyes around the back of the head.

The Yellow-eyed Penguin may be long lived, with some individuals reaching 20 years of age. Males are generally longer lived than females.

This penguin is thought to be the rarest spcies of penguins in the world. For me to get such a close glimpse of one and that too in such an unique setting was a truly memorable experience!

ktanska, edcone has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Hemant Buch (hemantbuch) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 163 W: 1 N: 252] (1649)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2009-11-09
  • Categories: Nature
  • Exposure: f/5.0, 1/1000 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2010-05-14 4:35
Viewed: 2402
Points: 6
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Additional Photos by Hemant Buch (hemantbuch) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 163 W: 1 N: 252] (1649)
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