Using the bone structure of a King penguin as a guide, New Zealand archeologists were able to re-assemble the bones of an extinct species of penguin fossilized on the nation's shores.
In Maori, this name loosely translates to 'diver who returns with food'. Quite a fitting name for a penguin, the Kairuku was the largest of the 5 species of penguins common to this era.
Standing at over 1 meter tall (4ft, 2inches), this penguin would tower over our beloved sea birds of today. The Kairuku had a unique shape, donning a large set of flippers and a elongated beak.
Described as an elegant bird by penguin standards, the ancient Kairuku had a long, slender body with short, thick legs and feet.
Citation: "Big NZ fossil penguin reconstructed". BBC news: Science and Environment. 27.02.12
Beginning as a simple idea shared between ocean loving families, the "Family Dive Adventures" were born. These fantastic family led excursions combine a love for ocean exploration with youth education and interactive marine activities including snorkeling and diving.
There are year-round organized expeditions inviting families from around the world to join in on the fun of marine education, conservation, and exploration. Regular destinations include Grand Cayman, Palau, Costa Rica, Galapagos, Fiji, and Belize...just to name a few!
Every summer, children are invited to participate in "Kids Sea Camp" which aims at cultivating a love for the ocean in all the young participants. The idea is that as parents encourage their children to become aware of the ocean environment by having hands-on experiences snorkeling and diving.
The staff at "Family Dive Adventures" is dedicated to promoting education of marine related issues, how living oceans work, thus creating young ambassadors for the future. Activities, games, classroom and in-water adventures help to keep participants motivated and curious about our blue planet.
Please visit the Family Divers on their website, and consider spending your next holiday sharing and teaching your children about the beauty and importance of our ocean environment. An investment in our youth's futures, Family Dive Adventures will nurture your connection to the sea through education and discovery!
Here is a sneak peak at what the Kids Sea Camp is like!!
Known for 'basking' in the sun, this friendly shark is the second largest after the Whale shark.
Basking Sharks are impressive migrators, historically found in all of our ocean's temperate zones. Although fished aggressively in past centuries, today the Basking shark is most commonly found in the waters off New Zealand, Canada and Ireland.
Like his cousin the Whale shark, the Basking shark is a filter feeder, relying on Zooplankton and small Invertebrates as its main source of nutrition.
Reaching sizes of up to 10 meters, these sharks are gentle giants, known to swim slowly and near the surface of the water. Characterized by their docile nature, Basking sharks are an easy fishing target, and they are still hunted for their flesh, fins, and the gallons of oil produced by their livers.
Basking sharks equipped with research tags have proved to scientists they can swim across oceans and cross equators along their journeys. They have also been seen breaching and swimming nose to tail in what is thought to indicate mating behavior.
With fewer than 8,000 female Basking sharks left in our oceans, scientists are hurriedly trying to learn more about these mysterious creatures. Some believe they could become indicators of climate change given they are constantly following, searching for, or feeding on a great indicator of eco-system health, Zooplankton.