Penguins are flightless seabirds that get around by swimming and diving, waddling around on land, and, sometimes, slipping and sliding on their bellies. Scientists have identified more than a dozen penguin species, and each one has an outer layer of waterproof feathers, webbed feet, and flippers for swimming. Penguins frequently preen (groom) and spread an oil-like substance on their feathers, which helps keep their bodies dry and insulated against water and wind.
Finally, some good news for the littlest marine mammal you’ve probably never heard of—the vaquita (va-KEE-tah)! Mexican authorities recently announced a permanent ban on the use of gillnets in this endangered species’ home range, a protected area of the upper Gulf of California. Hopefully, the ban will reduce the number of vaquitas that become entangled in fishing nets meant to catch other species.