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Shackleton's Penguin


Creator: UoD_Museums on 24 Nov 2011, 5:14 p.m.

This King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonica) is one of the prize specimens in the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum at the University of Dundee. D’Arcy knew many of the great explorers, including Nansen and Shackleton. This penguin was brought back from the Antarctic by Ernest
Shackleton after his 1907-9 expedition
and presented to the Zoology Museum.

D'Arcy had persuaded Shackleton to take one of his former students, Alister Forbes Mackay, on the expedition as junior surgeon. Mackay became one of the party that were the first in the world to reach the South Magnetic Pole, and said of Shackleton "I never want to serve under a better leader."

In 1913, Mackay made the fatal decision not to wait for Shackleton’s next expedition south but to head north as surgeon on the ill-fated Canadian Arctic Expedition on the Karluk – he died in the ice in 1914, aged 35.

Shackleton had various connections to Dundee, and even stood as an MP for the city in the 1906 elections, but was resoundingly defeated!