Antarctic penguins run a constant risk when entering
or leaving the water from the almost ever-present danger of their main
predator, the leopard seal. Leopard seals tend not to chase penguins
in open sea, but hang around the places where they jump into the sea
from their nesting areas, or where they leave the sea again as this
is gives much more productive hunting.
This gives the penguins a problem when going into
the sea, they have to enter it to go fishing and to get places, but
being the first one in means that they're first in line for any potential
leopard seals. Hanging back isn't any better though as they may get
left behind and end up jumping in on their own. What happens therefore
is that they gather at the edge of the water becoming quite animated
and jostling for position until one near to the edge gets pushed or
jumps in - that's the signal for the rest, as the odds of survival are
far greater when you're part of a large group, they then all dive in
in rapid succession.
Photo; © Paul Ward - Pentax equipment,
100mm lens, 35mm film, E64.
This picture may not be copied or
used in any manner without prior written permission.