Penguins are, perhaps, the most loved of birds. We've been fascinated by them for just about as long as we've known they existed. When penguins are on land, their actions appear to us so humorous and expressive that we can be excused for thinking we understand them perfectly, identifying with what looks like moods and foibles similar to our own.
Little do we realise that their private life is as complex and mysterious as that of any wild animal or that the bulk of their existence - in terms of time, space and survival skills - takes place very far from our prying eyes, hidden beneath the ocean waves. While a few types of penguins are relatively well-known - thanks to zoos, books, films and select travel destinations - not everyone realises the family is represented by 18 species (or even 19, depending on the taxonomy used). Those with retiring personalities or nocturnal habits tend to remain overlooked and rarely photographed. Likewise for species restricted to distant islands, for example the Snares and Erect-crested penguins of the New Zealand Subantarctic, or the extravagantly plumed Northern Rockhopper found on Tristan da Cunha and other isolated islands of the southern Atlantic and Indian oceans.
Many of the extraordinary facets of penguin life are only just being revealed. This book is the first to comprehensively cover all of the 18 penguin species in an engaging blend of accessible writing, the latest scientific research and over 400 breathtaking photographs.