The Hong Kong Space Museum's latest Omnimax show, "Penguins", to be screened from tomorrow (March 1) until August 31, will take viewers to the extreme cold of the southernmost part of the planet and follow a young male king penguin on a perilous journey.
South Georgia, a small island near Antarctica known as "Penguin City", is a harsh place battered for months by high winds and rough seas, and with a topography marked by steep mountain ranges and icy plains. Despite such extreme conditions, some creatures live on its coasts all year round. Among them is a vast colony of hundreds of thousands of king penguins, together with hundreds of albatrosses, fur seals and elephant seals.
The king penguins find their partners within this large group of penguins. As a female penguin lays only one egg each time, the egg is especially important to the couple. Unlike other types of penguins, the king penguins do not nest. Instead, the male penguin places the egg on the top of his feet and covers it with a fold of his stomach to keep it warm. After about eight weeks, the chick will hatch.
The penguin couple shows remarkable teamwork, as one adult guards the egg or the chick against fierce predators while the other dives dauntlessly into the raging sea, escaping from leopard seals and killer whales as it goes on fishing trips covering hundreds of kilometres.
The chicks, which have fluffy brown coats, are not always protected. When their parents need to fish together, the chicks have to join other adult penguins and learn to fight against predatory giant petrels. In the cold winter, when fishing is extremely difficult, the chicks and the surrounding adults starve and wait for the spring to come.
When winter is over, the chicks' downy coats begin to fall out. This means they have grown up and they can swim in the sea. They will soon start to go on adventures, just as their parents did.
The 38-minute Omnimax show "Penguins" will be screened daily at 1.30pm, 5pm and 8.30pm at the museum's Stanley Ho Space Theatre. The museum is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays).
Tickets are available at the Hong Kong Space Museum Box Office and at URBTIX for $24 (front stalls) and $32 (stalls). Full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above and people with disabilities are eligible for a half-price concession. For further information about the film, please visit the website at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/Space/Programs/Omnimax/Penguins/e_Penguins.htm .
The Hong Kong Space Museum is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. For enquiries, call 2721 0226.
Ends/Friday, February 28, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:49
South Georgia, an island in the south of the Atlantic Ocean, is the main breeding ground for king penguins. Each spring, hundreds of thousands of penguins gather there to nurture their offspring. The Hong Kong Space Museum's Omnimax show "Penguins" will take the audience there to witness the life journey of king penguins.
While the brown fluffy coats on little king penguins can keep them warm, they are not watertight. As they cannot follow their parents into the cold deep sea for foraging, they simply stay on the shore and wait to be fed upon the adults' return.