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190 × 135 mm
200 pages
95 illustrations, 66 in colour
01 Nov 2009

Penguin Stephen Martin

From the Linux logo to The March of the Penguins, a certain tuxedo-adorned member of the animal kingdom has perpetually captured our hearts and imaginations. Stephen Martin regales us here with the cultural history of the penguin, revealing many fascinating and little-known facts about this beloved bird.

Over twenty species of penguins can be found in the Galápagos Islands and New Zealand as well as in Antarctica, and range from the Little Bee Penguin at about 1 kg to the imposing Emperor Penguin, which can weigh in at over 34 kgs. Martin details the biological facts and natural history of each species, including their evolution, habitats, diet and behaviour, but he also combs through cultural history to chronicle the role of penguins in popular culture and thought - from children’s literature such as Mr Popper's Penguins to Batman’s nemesis to films and television shows including Happy Feet and Pingu. Over one hundred images of penguins enrich Martin’s engaging text as well.

A captivating and readable natural history, Penguin will be an essential addition to the bookshelves of penguin fans everywhere.

‘early explorers killed penguins for food and oil, but now penguins are regarded with protective interest and affection. Penguin [is] a high-quality, fully illustrated paperback by Stephen Martin. He considers both the natural and the cultural history’ – Church Times

‘a welcome addition to the expanding catalog of penguin products . . . Martin shows us just how old and enduring our fascination with the birds really is.’ – The Quarterly Review of Biology

Penguin is a book for all penguin people - it covers much ground and provides a background explanation of the anthropomorphic view of penguins held by most people - even by some who work with them’ – Emu-Austral Ornithology

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Stephen Martin is currently a Senior Project Officer at the State Library of New South Wales, Australia. He has published many books and articles on Australian and Antarctic history, including A History of Antarctica (1996)and The Whales' Journey: A Year in the Life of a Humpback Whale and A Century in the History of Whaling (2001).