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What is the origin of the word ''penguin''? The origin of the word penguin is still debated.
The name was first applied to the now extinct Great Auk of the seas around Newfoundland in Canada,
and may have come from the Welsh "pen gwyn", meaning white head, or perhaps even
a similar phrase in the Breton or Cornish languages. In the log book of the golden hind,
which sailed around the world from 1577-1580, there is a reference to a 'foule, which the
Welsh men named Peng win' that was seen at the Magellan's strait at the tip of South America.
The sailors on the expedition may have mistaken penguins for great auks,
or simply applied a term they knew to an unfamiliar bird. The great auk looked very much like
a penguin, in that it was a large flightless bird with black and white plumage that was
adapted to life in freezing waters. Naturally, the question that then usually arises is whether
or not a penguin is in fact classified as a bird? This is because we often see images
of these creatures swimming underwater, or waddling in an ungainly way across the icy wastes of Antarctica.
Penguins can't fly, and we typically think of birds as being able
to soar through the air. However, penguins are classified as birds, aves in zoological terms.
They are black and white, flightless seabirds, of the family spheniscidae, which
are found in the southern hemisphere, mostly in the Antarctic, although several species
live in warmer regions. In common with other birds, penguins have feathers, lay eggs, and
are warm-blooded. Through evolutionary processes, penguins wings gradually adapted to become
flippers, which they use for swimming. The feathers of a penguin are relatively short
and stiff in comparison to those of other birds, and they overlap closely to form a
thick, smooth layer, which traps air beneath it and so provides insulation from the cold.
There are other flightless birds, like the Australian emu, the cassowary of New Guinea,
and the ostrich. Unlike the penguin, they are all more visibly feathery as well as being
land-based, so we're probably less likely to question the fact that they're birds.
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【英文常識】「企鵝」這個字從何而來? (What is the origin of the word 'penguin'?)

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Silvia W. 發佈於 2016 年 2 月 22 日    Silvia W. 翻譯    Sally Hsu 審核
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