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tierra del fuego Penguins


I They are small white and black bird like creatures that live in cold regions. Penguins are the most fascinating creature around.
II Explanation
1 Physical characteristics
A Most penguins have a white breast and a black back and head. Many species exhibit red, orange, or yellow patches on the head and neck. Because their short legs are placed far back on their bodies, penguins assume an upright posture.
B Penguins are grouped into 18 species and 6 genera, most of which are found in Antarctica and on subantarctic islands. Others are native to the coasts of Australia, South Africa, and South America and to the Galapagos Islands.
C The largest species are the king penguin, from 36 to 38 inches in height, and the emperor penguin, which may attain a height of more than 48 inches. Both species are found on the Antarctic ice barrier. The king penguin is also found in Tierra del Fuego and on eight islands in the southern hemisphere. The smallest penguin is the little blue penguin of Australia and New Zealand; its height is 16 inches or less. Unlike most species, the king, emperor, and little penguins have blue-gray backs. Another distinguishing feature of the king and emperor penguins is the presence of bright reddish or pinkish shields on the sides of their mandibles and large orange or yellow patches on the sides of their necks.
D Although descended from flying ancestors, penguins have become highly specialized for swimming; their stiffly held wings resemble the paddles of other swimming vertebrates. Penguins do not have specific feather tracts, as do most birds, but are covered almost uniformly with small, scalelike feathers. Whereas most birds shed their feathers and grow new ones during a relatively long period of the year, penguins molt all of their feathers and, in some species, even shed the shields from the beak within a short space of time. A molting penguin has a swollen, untidy appearance; it loses its feathers in huge patches as new feathers appear. During the molting period, which may last several weeks, the penguin does not enter the water to feed.
2 The cold
A The ability to withstand intense cold is one of the penguin's greatest assets. Most penguins have rather small feet, wings, and heads; the relatively little surface area which results in excellent heat conservation. In addition, many penguins have a thick insulating layer of fat under the skin. Some species are better equipped for cold weather than others. The emperor penguin appears to be the best equipped of all.
3 Walking
A Penguins usually walk or hop and toboggan along on their breasts, pushing with wings and feet. They swim with great speed and agility. The flippers are their sole means of propulsion; the feet are used for steering. Some species progress by purposing, which is swimming underwater some distance, emerging in a graceful arc to take a fresh breath, and submerging again. Penguins feed on fish, cuttlefish, crustaceans, and other small sea animals.
4 Flocks
A Penguins are gregarious birds and are found in flocks even at sea. On land the colonies often number in the hundreds of thousands. Although the birds have suffered greatly at the hands of humans, who have slaughtered great numbers for their blubber and, more recently, for their skins, the inaccessibility of the Antarctic region has helped preserve the group. Natural enemies of the penguin include leopard seals, killer whales, and, in the case of young chicks and eggs, skuas.
III Conclusion
Penguins are wonderful gentle creatures. I hope you like them as much as I do.
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Early Europeans

EARLY EUROPEANS By: Travis H.

The first Europeans to arrive in North America were Norse, traveling west from Greenland, where Erik the Red had founded a settlement around the year 985. In 1001 his son Leif is thought to have explored the northeast coast of what is now Canada and spent at least one winter there.
While Norse sagas suggest that Viking sailors explored the Atlantic coast of North America down as far as the Bahamas, such claims remain unproven. In 1963, however, the ruins of some Norse houses dating from that era were discovered at L'Anse-aux-Meadows in northern Newfoundland, thus supporting at least some of the claims the Norse sagas make.
In 1497, just five years after Christopher Columbus landed in the Caribbean looking for a western route to Asia, a Venetian sailor named John Cabot arrived in Newfoundland on a mission for the British king. Although fairly quickly forgotten, Cabot's journey was later to provide the basis for British claims to North America. It also opened the way to the rich fishing grounds off George's Banks, to which European fishermen, particularly the Portuguese, were soon making regular visits.
Columbus, of course, never saw the mainland United States, but the first explorations of the continental United States were launched from the Spanish possessions that he helped establish. The first of these took place in 1513 when a group of men under Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the Florida coast near the present city of St. Augustine.
With the conquest of Mexico in 1522, the Spanish further solidified their position in the Western Hemisphere. The ensuing discoveries added to Europe's knowledge of what was now named America -- after the Italian Amerigo Vespucci, who wrote a widely popular account of his voyages to a "New World." By 1529 reliable maps of the Atlantic coastline from Labrador to Tierra del Fuego had been drawn up, although it would take more than another century before hope of discovering a "Northwest Passage" to Asia would be completely abandoned.
Among the most significant early Spanish explorations was that of Hernando De Soto, a veteran conquistador who had accompanied Francisco Pizzaro during the conquest of Peru. Leaving Havana in 1539, De Soto's expedition landed in Florida and ranged through the southeastern United States as far as the Mississippi River in search of riches.
Another Spaniard, Francisco Coronado, set out from Mexico in 1540 in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Cibola. Coronado's travels took him to the Grand Canyon and Kansas, but failed to reveal the gold or treasure his men sought.
However, Coronado's party did leave the peoples of the region a remarkable, if unintended gift: enough horses escaped from his party to transform life on the Great Plains. Within a few generations, the Plains Indians had become masters of horsemanship, greatly expanding the range and scope of their activities.
While the Spanish were pushing up from the south, the northern portion of the present-day United States was slowly being revealed through the journeys of men such as Giovanni da Verrazano. A Florentine who sailed for the French, Verrazano made landfall in North Carolina in 1524, then sailed north along the Atlantic coast past what is now New York harbor.
A decade later, the Frenchman Jacques Cartier set sail with the hope -- like the other Europeans before him -- of finding a sea passage to Asia. Cartier's expeditions along the St. Lawrence River laid the foundations for the French claims to North America, which were to last until 1763.
Following the collapse of their first Quebec colony in the 1540s, French Huguenots attempted to settle the northern coast of Florida two decades later. The Spanish, viewing the French as a threat to their trade route along the Gulf Stream, destroyed the colony in 1565. Ironically, the leader of the Spanish forces, Pedro Menendez, would soon establish a town not far away -- St. Augustine. It was the first permanent European settlement in what would become the United States.
The great wealth that poured into Spain from the colonies in Mexico, the Caribbean and Peru provoked great interest on the part of the other European powers. With time, emerging maritime nations such as ... more

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