Why Are There Penguins At The Equator?

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When nutrients from the ocean depths reach the sunlit surface (like in the Galapagos), life is more productive.

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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Net Primary Production (NPP): the amount of primary production that organisms do, minus the amount of carbon they use up to do so (by respiring)

Phytoplankton: microscopic green algae that live in water and get energy through photosynthesis. Learn more here:

Primary Production: the synthesis of organic chemicals from carbon dioxide (mostly happens through photosynthesis)

Upwelling: the motion of cooler, usually nutrient-rich, water towards the ocean surface

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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Script Editor: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Video Illustrator: Arcadi Garcia
Video Director: Alex Reich & Emily Elert
Video Narrator: Emily Elert (@eelert)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:



Ainley, David. Personal Communication, 2018.

Baker, A. J., et al. 2006. Multiple gene evidence for expansion of extant penguins out of Antarctica due to global cooling. Proc of Royal Soc B: Biol Sci, 273 (1582), 11-17.

Behrenfeld, M. J., et al. 2006. Climate-driven trends in contemporary ocean productivity. Nature, 444(7120), 752.

Boersma, Dee. Personal Communication, 2018.

Boyd, P.W., et al. 2014. Cross-chapter box on net primary production in the ocean. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC [Field, C.B., et al (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK & New York, NY, USA, pp. 133-136.

Dybdahl, Mark. Personal Communication, 2018.

Falkowski, P. G., et al. 1998. Biogeochemical controls and feedbacks on ocean primary production. Science, 281(5374), 200-206.

Field, C. B., et al. 1998. Primary production of the biosphere: integrating terrestrial and oceanic components. Science, 281(5374), 237-240.

Karnauskas, K. B., et al. 2017. Paleoceanography of the eastern equatorial Pacific over the past 4 million years and the geologic origins of modern Galapagos upwelling. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 460, 22-28.

LaRue, Michelle. Personal Communication, 2018.

Kallmeyer, Jens. Personal Communication, 2018.

Pockalny, Robert. Personal Communication, 2018.

Sigman, D. M. & Hain, M. P. 2012. The Biological Productivity of the Ocean. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):21.

Stock, Charlie. Personal Communication, 2018.

Galapagos penguin diet

Penguin diet

Cromwell Current & Galapagos:

Penguin distribution: ,

Ocean productivity: