Friday, April 29, 2016

Baby Penguins Make Splash in Dallas Zoo Debut

Posted: Apr 28, 2016
Robert Wheeler

Dallas, TX -- It was the march of the penguins Wednesday morning at the Dallas Zoo.
"Today, we actually celebrated the first swim for our two penguin chicks. They're about three months old, and we just put them out in the pool. Mom and dad came out for a little bit along with the older sister," said Sprina Liu, Curator of Births at the Dallas Zoo.
That's right, the new additions are taking their first penguin plunge.
"They did great. Their first drop in the water was a little bit ungraceful, but they quickly learned, got in and out of the pool pretty quickly, so we're pretty happy with how they did," Liu said.
Once these chicks got in the water, they didn't waste time, but this was a test run to see how they'll do when they're introduced to the rest of the penguin posse.
"That's going to happen in the next week or so. We're going to let them out in the exhibit in the morning, let them get in and out of the pool. Make sure they're comfortable getting in and out okay, and then introduce them to the rest of the group," Liu said.
In the meantime, this crowd will have a chance to see these guys swim around.


Humboldt penguin chicks hatch at north Wales zoo

Three Humboldt penguin chicks - classed as an endangered species - have hatched at a north Wales zoo. The Humboldt breeds in coastal Chile and Peru, but numbers have been declining, with only 7,000-10,000 estimated to be left in the wild. New chicks Wellington, Mack and Poncho recently hatched at The Welsh Mountain Zoo in Conwy, where keepers say they are growing fast.
Humboldt penguin chick
Three Humboldt penguin chicks have been born at the Welsh Mountain Zoo, which has reared penguins for years. Credit: The Welsh Mountain Zoo

Luckily our breeding pairs are now very experienced and we do not need to intervene by hand-rearing. We do not interfere. All we do is offer food to the parent in the burrow, who is incubating the eggs three times a day, and when the chick hatches we take a 'hatch weight' which is around 65-80 grams.
When they are around two years old, they will go off to join a different collection where they will hopefully find their life partner, as Humboldt penguins are monogamous.
– Michelle Pywell, Head Keeper


Thursday, April 28, 2016

NZ has the world's best banknote

The first conqueror of Mount Everest, the creator of Pippi Longstocking and Crimean landmarks appear on 2015's most attractive currency bills.
New Zealand's five-dollar note, which features Mount Everest's first conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary, has been adjudged as the world's best banknote for 2015 by the International Bank Note Society.
The Society, a nonprofit educational organisation which has more than 20,000 members in close to 100 countries, picked the banknote sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as a "clear winner" from among three dozen nominees.

The notes are assessed for “artistic merit and/or innovative security features”, including use of colour, contrast and balance.

The orange and brown $5 note displays a map of New Zealand in a polymer window as well as numerous upgraded security features.

In addition to Hillary, who passed away in 2008, the face features South Island’s Mount Cook and a colour-changing yellow-eyed penguin. The back design also features this rare penguin unique to New Zealand, as well as local flora.
Almost 150 new banknotes were released worldwide in 2015. The Society narrowed down the nominees to 20 from Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. India was not among these picks.


New baby penguin at Flamingo Land

PICTURE: New baby penguin at Flamingo Land
PICTURE: New baby penguin at Flamingo Land

STAFF at Flamingo Land are having to p..p..pick up a penguin after several baby chicks arrived at the theme park zoo near Pickering.
Zoo manager Ross Snipp said zoo keepers were keeping a close eye on them to check they are gaining weight and growing as expected.
“Each day the chicks are weighed and their growth and vital statistics plotted to ensure they flourish," he said.
The Humboldt penguins are found in the southern hemisphere, generally off the coasts of Peru and Chile, and are named after the ‘Humboldt Current.'
A spokeswoman said a fantastic ‘penguin experience’ could be enjoyed at Flamingo Land which allowed children over the age of 8, with under 12s accompanied by an adult, to feed the penguins.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Penguin's Moult

In honour of World Penguin Day (25 April), we’re thrilled to have this guest post about moulting penguins from Trudi Webster, Conservation Science Advisor at the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. Plus, it gives us an excuse to link to this year-round favourite. Visit the Otago Museum's Nature galleries or Animal Attic to learn more about penguins.

Moulting penguin Flickr Creative Commons
Image: Moulting yellow-eyed penguin, Richard Giddins, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Out with the old, in with the new

Over time a penguin’s feathers wear and break. Daily activities such as preening, swimming, landing on the beach after a day at sea or rubbing against bushes at a nest site cause feathers to deteriorate. To restore these feathers, penguins go through a moult – old feathers are pushed out and replaced by new ones. Penguins often look a bit scruffy during the moult as their old feathers fall out in patches. So if you see a penguin looking down-on-its-luck, don’t judge it too harshly – it might just be moulting!

Penguin feathers are highly specialized. They are essential for keeping it warm and dry while swimming in the cold ocean, and have developed to be short, broad and closely spaced, to trap air against the skin.

Timing is everything
Penguins lose their insulating and waterproofing capabilities while moulting, so they must stay out of the water. It takes yellow-eyed penguins about three to four weeks to replace their feathers each year. Since they can’t go fishing without the the full complement of feathers, they need to increase their food intake before moulting begins to sustain them while they are stuck on land.

It takes a lot of energy to build new feathers. Penguins typically time their moults to avoid periods of high energy demands, such as the breeding season. The most common moulting time is just after breeding, when food is still plentiful but chicks no longer need to be fed. Juvenile and non-breeding yellow-eyed penguins moult first, starting in late February. Yellow-eyed penguin parents start moulting in March, which gives them a few weeks of time to recover and put on weight after breeding.

How to treat a moulting penguin
Moulting can be a stressful and dangerous time for birds. Their energy levels are low and starvation is a possibility if they have not managed to put on enough weight. Birds are more susceptible to predators and disturbance, and the missing feathers compromise their insulation and protection from cold or rain.

If you see a moulting penguin, you can help by giving it a wide berth and keeping dogs on a leash. If you find a distressed or injured penguin, or someone harassing a penguin, contact the Department of Conservation on 0800 362 468.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Conservationists urge people to make the "right choices" with sustainable seafood

Tom Beasley, Trainee reporter

PENGUIN conservationists in Weymouth want residents to make wise choices when it comes to seafood.

Today marks World Penguin Day and staff at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park have stressed the importance of avoiding seafood that is fished through methods which have an impact on penguins.
The park has a colony of 14 Humboldt penguins, which are native to coastal regions of Chile and Peru.

Its breeding programme has produced 14 successful hatches to date, with 10 of the penguins sent out to take part in breeding programmes at other Sea Life parks in the UK.

Jo Mullen, aquarist at Weymouth Sea Life, said: "It’s mostly about education and we like to spread the message about penguins because I think they tend to be misunderstood.

"Everybody thinks of cold species, but there are only actually three types that live in snow and all of the others live in warmer climates.

"We like to spread the message that it’s not just about ice caps melting; it’s actually to do with overfishing and human interference."

The park offers visitors the chance to adopt one of the penguins in order to raise money for conservation efforts.


It also provides copies of the Marine Conservation Society's 'Good Fish Guide', which offers advice on the best fish to buy and the most ethical places from which to buy it.

"It’s not about not eating fish; it’s just about making the right choices," said Jo.

"Certain methods, like bottom trawling, are actually quite dangerous because they catch a lot of other creatures – not just the target animal.

"For example, prawns are bottom trawled and for every pound of prawns, they can catch up to 4lbs of other aquatic species.

"Sustainable fishing is just about knowing where your fish comes from and buying locally if you can."

All species of penguins are vulnerable in the wild, largely as a result of overfishing by humans.
Jo added: "They are fantastic little creatures because they’ve got big personalities and they’re monogamous, so they tend to mate for life.

"They’re pretty good mums and dads, so one will sit on the eggs and the other will go and get food.
"When the chick hatches, they will spend up to two months sitting on the chicks themselves to look after them."

"They’re a bit like humans in that they care a lot for their children.

"They’re very dedicated and I think that in itself is really endearing."


Penguin Mouths are Nightmare Pits

Posted by Kyle Hill on April 25, 2016
Please read the following paragraph in Morgan Freeman’s voice:

And here we have the humble penguin, marching feet and all. Everything about the penguin is adapted for its semi-aquatic lifestyle, from its cheerful rotundity to its OH MY GOD WHAT IS UP WITH ITS MOUTH!?

For World Penguin Day, Nerdist would like to take a moment to remind you that for how adorable penguins are, their mouths are hellscapes. Open a penguin’s mouth, like the Enoshima Aquarium did in the video above, and you’ll find rows upon rows of backwards-facing spines.


The horrifying sight is a result of the penguin’s diet. Animals like you and me chew our food, usually dead food that won’t fight its way back up an esophagus. Penguins, on the other hand, eat their food — wet, wriggling fish — whole. To make the consumption of fish easier, especially underwater, penguins evolved spiked mouths and tongues to function like those tire spikes at a fancy parking lot — fish can proceed forwards (into the bird’s belly), but not backwards.

Other creatures have evolved a similar solution to eating slippery sea food. For whatever reason, I’m assuming most of us think that the interior of a turtle’s mouth is as docile as the animal. Not true for the leatherback sea turtle. Feasting almost exclusively on goopy jellyfish, the turtle’s mouth is as scary as a penguin’s. Actually worse.

PenguinMouth_TURTLEA leatherback sea turtle esophagus is not the most inviting place.

Not only does a penguin’s mouth prevent backwards movement, its tongue is much like a sarlacc pit — ever undulating to facilitate movement from the front of the mouth to the back.


13 Dapper Products to Celebrate your Inner Penguin

Rebecca OConnell

Image credit: amazon

Happy World Penguin Day! Celebrate everyone's favorite monochrome, flightless bird with some fun toys and gadgets.


Keep all your important files together with these adorable penguin-shaped paperclips—the bird's "wing" slips over the paper to hold everything in place. The set of 30 comes in a stylish blue box.
Find it: Amazon 


This small and portable screwdriver is great for repairs on the go. It comes with six different types of bits: Phillips #0 and #2, slotted 2.5 and 4mm, Hex 4, and 5mm.
Find it: Amazon


This penguin-shaped flash drive is perfect for storming 8GB of penguin trivia—just pop off the bird’s head and plug the body in.
Find it: Amazon


If you can't have a real penguin for a pet, this balloon is the next best thing: It's weighted to land on its feet and can be dragged around by an attached leash. It can be refilled, so your inflatable pet will last more than a few hours.
Find it: Amazon


These vibrant LED lights are perfect for illuminating dark hallways and bathrooms or throwing Antarctica-themed raves. The squishy plastic lights cycle through three colors: red, blue, and green.
Find it: Amazon

6. ICE MOLD; $7

Make penguin-shaped ice cubes, chocolates, gummies, or anything else you can think of with this helpful silicone mold. It’s heat resistant, machine washable, and microwave safe.
Find it: Amazon


Why have a regular corkscrew when you can have one that looks like a penguin? This corkscrew, which is touted to be "The Best Flightless Bird Bottle Opener on the Market," is plastic with a stainless steel worm and was inspired by the penguins on the South Pole.
Find it: Amazon


Make your cocktails even fancier with the help of nature’s most dapper animal.
Find it: Amazon


Lovers of gummy bears and Gushers will love these Trader Joe’s penguin gummies, which marry the two. The fat-free gummies have bellies filled with naturally flavored syrups in cherry, lime, and strawberry. Best of all, you get to skip the lines at Trader Joe’s if you order online.
Find it: Amazon


This adorable, collapsible hamper is the perfect to thing to keep your dirty clothes together before laundry day. Thanks to its round top, it looks like the penguin is eating the clothes, making picking up dirty clothing and tossing it in the hamper kind of fun.
Find it: Amazon


Celebrate your love of penguins with a boardgame that’s fun for the whole family. (This is not an actual branded game of Monopoly, but rather “-opoly inspired” so expect a bit of a twist on the classic format.) Two to six people can play at a time and learn fun penguin facts as they go.
Find it: Amazon

12. PINGU; $2.99

This British-Swiss children’s claymation show, Pingu, follows the titular character—a young penguin—as he gets into some trouble. The show’s characters have their own adorable language called "Penguinese" that you'll be quoting in no time. Noot noot!
Find it: Amazon

13. DUCT TAPE; $5

Is it duct tape or duck tape? Turns out it’s both, but this particular roll is penguin tape. Use it to repair or create, or just to embellish all the tragically un-penguin items in your life.
Find it: Amazon


Why Everyone Should Want To Be A Penguin

Sarah-Elizabeth Daly
1) You find your life partner through *song*. Horseshoe karaoke anyone?
Evening Times:

2) You get to be involved in a Parade. ALL OF THE TIME. 
Evening Times:

3) You would get to say NOOT NOOT without anyone looking at you weirdly
Evening Times:

4) You'd have a *huge* publishing house named after you and you'd receive these awesome jumpers. For free.
5) You'd get to walk down the street to Star Wars without any questions 


6) You could have starred in the greatest Christmas advert of all time

7) Got a black tie event coming up? Don't worry about your outfit, you're sorted. 
Evening Times:

8) You might not be able to fly, but boy you'd be able to swim
Evening Times:

9) Forget walking everywhere, you'd get around by traveling on your STOMACH. What's more fun than that?
Evening Times:

10) You'd get to meet loads of cool people, who would later go on to voice you in a HUGE movie...
Evening Times:

11)...speaking of which, you could have been in Happy Feet (or at least an animated version of you)

12) You'd get invited to loads of cool movie premieres, like The Mary Poppins 40th edition one!
Evening Times:

13) You'd just be the cutest thing around - why wouldn't you want to be a penguin?!
Evening Times:

Antarctica's March of the Penguins

25 April 2016
London - Whales have a special day, pangolins too, and every December all things simian are celebrated, so it seems only right that penguins should be similarly lauded with World Penguin Day on Monday. The global observance was launched four years ago when scientists at a US Antarctic research centre noticed that, without fail, Adelie penguins returned from the sea to breed on this day every year. It is now used as a means of promoting their conservation.

My admiration for these aquatic, flightless birds rose exponentially during an eight-day cruise around West Antarctica. Like the other 185 passengers on board the Ocean Endeavour, departing from Argentina's Tierra del Fuego, I wanted to be wowed by breaching whales, leopard seals' bloodlust, and nature's borderless paragliders, albatrosses.

Yet penguins are the fabric of all wildlife-watching voyages to Antarctica. Always waddling around, they are ready to entertain when whales can't be bothered to surface, and are all too often an oily lunch for predators in a sub-zero world that is as chillingly visceral as it is beautiful.

Even in a landscape as remote as Antarctica, penguins are facing unprecedented impact from humans, something I'd learn throughout our 1 500 nautical-mile voyage from Dr Tom Hart of Oxford University. This hitchhiking penguinologist uses Ocean Endeavour to monitor time-lapse cameras for his Penguin Lifelines project, whose goal is to better understand the threat to penguins and their fluctuating populations.

The first thing to admire about these comical creatures is a tenacity to exist around the Southern Ocean's frozen, wave-battered shorelines. The region's rigours were introduced to me by a hefty sea swell as we sailed south from Cape Horn at the tip of South America during a two-day crossing down the Drake Passage to Antarctica. I lurched around our reinforced ship like a drunken sailor, lolling between my comfortable seventh-deck en-suite cabin, lectures on everything from glaciology to ornithology, the gym, and Polaris Restaurant for Austrian chef Mannfed's excellent cordon bleu cooking.

Most of the world's 17 penguin species exist in the circumpolar Antarctic Convergence Zone, where sea temperatures range from 6ºC to 2ºC and warm sub-Antarctic and cold Antarctic currents meet, spawning rich, penguin-favoured feeding grounds of krill (tiny crustaceans). “Penguins don't like cold water, but they're not stupid. They like the food these waters bring,” lectured French ornithologist, Fabrice Genevois.

Halfway down the Drake Passage, it wasn't long before we spotted our first penguins prospecting for krill, skimming through the water like Wallis' bouncing bombs trailed by a black-browed albatross.
Soon after, the Antarctic Peninsula's ice-entombed isthmus was signposted by a floating behemoth of an iceberg (imagine the White Cliffs of Dover on a world cruise). Land duly appeared as Ocean Endeavour nosed between Brabant and Envers Islands near Neko Harbour on the 65th parallel where, on cue, a pod of humpback whales was gorging on krill.

The combination of blue-hued glaciers and dusky evening light was bewitching.

Planned daily trips onto land further increased my admiration for penguins. Even the pong of their fishy guano didn't deter our fleet of Zodiacs about to storm Neko Harbour, armed with 400mm lenses primed to pap any penguin that moved. Were the birds bothered? Not a bit.

On snowy slopes, against the backdrop of a glacier crevassed into teetering ice towers and wracked by rumbling avalanches, the Gentoo penguins were presumably preoccupied with survival. These knee-high birds, with a distinctive white eye-patch, are one of six Antarctic species that breed on Antarctic land. It was February, nearing summer's end and time was ticking for the colony's chicks to mature enough to face the onset of winter. Both parents made food runs while their downy greyish chicks fussed to be fed. “I've tried the regurgitated krill, it's quite tasty - a little salty perhaps,” said Genevois. I hoped chef Mannfred didn't agree. Elsewhere, mature penguins were preening their moulting feathers.

“These penguins are losers,” commented the ever-phlegmatic Genevois. “They have time to moult because they didn't breed or lose their chicks.

Dr Hart, meanwhile, checked a few of his land-and ice-based cameras, in place to observe the colonies in situ. He explained that his research suggested this 2 000-pair colony remains stable and reveals that Gentoo are remaining around the nesting beaches longer into winter than previously thought. “But this is a late crèche of chicks and quite a few won't survive the coming winter,” he cautioned.

Next day it was Chinstraps' turn to get papped. We sailed down the magnificent Lemaire Channel, whose mountainous flanks of snow and black basalt were patterned like a Friesian cow's hide.
Chinstrap penguins are a little smaller than Gentoo, with porcelain-white faces framed by a delicate black line around their neck. They live beside the Gentoo on a snowbound promontory, Port Charcot, named by early 20th-century French expeditionary, Jean-Baptiste Charcot.

Instead of landing, I took a kayak out for a penguin-eye perspective of their refrigerated world: an abstract gazpacho of fractured sea ice and bobbing blue-veined bergs, everevolving into shapes and textures such as scalloped shells, cubes, Art Deco curves, and floating toadstools, all inextricably dissolving into seawater as clear as glass.

Chinstraps barrelled past our kayaks, surfacing frequently for air. As winter's ice locks the landscape shut, they will head out to sea, fishing exclusively on krill. They can load up on 800 grams of krill - one-seventh of their body weight - to carry back to their chicks.

My admiration for their environment extended to new levels of respect that afternoon. On the ship's daily menu is a Wandering Albatross and Polar Plunge. The former is a gin and Cointreau cocktail; the latter a rites-of-passage dip in the ocean. Joining some of my fellow passengers queuing to take this unnecessary excursion, I felt like a mutineer about to walk the plank into the 1.6ºC brine - initial breathlessness, ice-cream headache, then shock followed in quick succession. The experience lasted barely a minute and ended with a Ukrainian waiter proffering a welcome shot of vodka.

Those same hostile waters host fearsome predators where our admirably brave penguins risk life and flipper every time they fish. “If this is a leopard seal I want to see him shredding penguins,” said Gordon, a no-nonsense pipefitter from Medicine Hat, Calgary. Of course, nobody wanted to see the little chaps getting eaten, but secretly we hoped they might lure some of Antarctica's mammalian and winged predators towards our boat, keen to pick up a penguin.

Orcas, for whom penguins are surely an hors d'oeuvre, offered only distant sightings. Yet Gordon's lust for penguin gore was sated by magnificent leopard seals, so named for their spots. One of these big seals volleyballed an unlucky Gentoo into the air before devouring it.

“Their skin is quite tough, so the leopards have a job biting through,” explained Genevois.
Jostling for dessert, Antarctica's mightiest winged scavengers, giant southern petrels, arrived with powerful vulturine beaks to rip into the remaining carcass, while petite Wilson's storm petrels, nicknamed Jesus Christ birds because they seemingly walk on water, snaffled morsels of flying gristle and blubber. Meanwhile, back at the penguin rookeries, predatory skuas loitered around the chicks to pick off the weakest.

In spite of the natural violence that surrounds them, penguins' biggest adversary is mankind.
Returning northwards towards Tierra del Fuego after three days on the Antarctic Peninsula, Ocean Endeavour called at the scenic South Shetland Isles. We steamed into Deception Island's flooded caldera: its last eruption in 1971 artistically streaked the snowy slopes with cindery, haematite-red ash. Nearby is Antarctica's largest Chinstrap colony at Baily Head, where black volcanic beaches are strewn with 50 000 pairs of Chinstraps. “It's a big colony,” said Dr Hart, “but numbers have fallen by 39 percent since 1986.”

Our onboard lectures muddied any oversimplified notions I had about anthropogenically induced climate change. Certainly, dissolving ice sheets are devastating for penguins. The recently reported Rome-sized Iceberg B09B grounded onto a beach in Eastern Antarctica and during four years has decimated an Adelie penguin colony that now has to detour 60 kilometres in search of krill.
But such ice break-ups may not be down to humans necessarily, cautioned onboard glaciologist Dr Colin Souness. He explained that the enormous Larsen Ice Sheet interlocking the Antarctic Peninsula has badly fragmented over recent decades, yet Eastern Antarctica has been observed to cool, hinting at the possibility of natural cycles of climate change.

However, Dr Hart does see direct human activity affecting penguins. “I'd summarise climate change, fisheries, disease and pollution, as penguins' biggest threat,” he outlined. “As an educated guess I'd say the relationship between climate change and krill-fishing presents the greatest challenge. When krill is over-exploited by fishing, he explained, it impacts penguins' ability to gather sufficient food to raise their young. If the ice sheets melt away, fishing can potentially penetrate deeper into Antarctica. Among other uses, he explained how krill is used in food colouring for products such as farmed salmon and Omega 3 oils.

A final disembarkation in the South Shetlands allowed us the chance to celebrate penguins one last time. Aitcho Island is fortified by Giant's Causeway-like columnar basalt, while humpback whales and leopard seals patrol a broad bay of black sands embedded by beached icebergs offshore.
Mixed colonies of Gentoo and Chinstraps played the crowd. Tubby, downy chicks huddled together, generating a fearful din. Others chased downtrodden parents who plunged into the sea to escape their persistent offspring. I watched with admiration a brave Gentoo repeatedly chasing away a menacing skua.

Life for penguins at the bottom of the world is a lot harder than I'd imagined. These brave little birds deserve celebrating today. I'll certainly be raising a glass. Something chilled, of course.


10 Fun Facts About The Tux-Wearing Flightless Birds

By Katherine Derla, Tech Times | April 26, 2016

They may live in cold areas but they sure warm our hearts. Here are 10 fun facts about these flightless birds in celebration of World Penguin Day.

(Photo : Siggy Nowak | Pixabay)
Penguins may live in chilly regions but they sure melt our hearts. As the global community celebrates World Penguin Day on April 25, here are 10 fun facts about these tuxedo-wearing, waddling, flightless birds.

1. Twice a year, the world celebrates having these elegant birds around. World Penguin Day is celebrated every 25th of April while Penguin Awareness Day is celebrated every 20th of January.

2. There are 18 penguin species around the world to date, many of which are threatened by the devastating effects of climate change.

3. The emperor penguin, which stands between 36 and 44 inches tall, is the largest of all penguin species in the world. The emperor penguin is perhaps also the most popular of all penguin species that have graced many animated films, including Disney's Happy Feet.

4. Penguins spend around 75 percent of their life in the sea. While many photos show the birds in huge colonies on chunks of ice, these birds actually prefer the water where they search for food such as squid, krill and fish.

5. Penguins sleep while standing up and with flippers out to help maintain the desired body temperature. They also huddle to keep warm. Many people think penguins don't sleep because they are seen on their toes most of the time.

6. Like you and me, penguins can get sunburned when they are in places that are closer to the equator. If you've even seen a penguin use its flippers to cover its feet while walking on land, that's their way of preventing sunburn.

7. All penguin species are carnivorous. Depending on how much food is readily available, they fight each other for food sources. While some prefer hunting near the shores, others can also dive deeper into the water for more food.

8. Some penguins can reproduce as early as 3 years of age, especially the smaller penguin types. The larger ones mature later, between 3 and 8 years of age.

9. Penguins are romantics, well at least to some degree. Many penguin species often find one life-long partner and can even find them among thousands of penguins in the mating grounds. Aww.

10. Female penguins can lay up to two eggs for every successful conception. All couples across penguin species take turns to incubate the eggs until hatching.