· 2 min read

Penguins of the Palmer Archipelago

I’ll be spending a lot more time attempting Tableau datviz projects now. Here’s a really interesting one to start my submission for the awesome dataviz series MakeoverMonday. The data by Allison Horst captures Flipper and Bill Length along with body mass of three species of penguins at the Palmer Station, Antarctica. Check out some of the top submissions in the favourites.

Being new to creating dashboards in Tableau, I decided to explore the data as scatter plots using all the 3 categorical columns (species, gender, location). One of the first observations this layout enables is regarding the differential distribution of the three species across the islands. To look for sex specific differences, I decided to mark the gender of each penguin in the dataset, excluding nulls or where information was missing.

Adelie, the original but disappearing inhabitant of the region, has colonies on all the three islands in the dataset, while the Chinstrap is found only on Dream island and Gentoo on Biscoe island. To understand the effects of climate change on these penguins visit the educational resources at the Palmer Station Antarctica LTER.

Plotting the bill and flipper lengths gives a measure of their size differences clustered by species and gender. Gentoos have the largest flippers. The difference in bill lengths is not as dramatic, though Adelie do seem to have shorter beaks. Body mass, that can vary in penguins depending on seasonal cycles, is plotted separately with Gentoo well in the lead, befitting one of the largest known penguin species. Notable is the sexual size dimorphism among the Pygoscelis penguins, examined in the original reference Gorman et al., 2014.

Note: Male and female penguins look alike except for slight differences in bill morphology. Males can be slightly larger than females with a longer bill length.

Penguins of the Antarctica

Image by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)/British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Available here.

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