I Love Penguins!
Penguins may be a bird, but they don't fly. Instead, these funny, beautiful creatures waddle on the ground and are amazingly efficient swimmers, reaching speeds of anywhere from fifteen to twenty five miles per hour in the water.
Read on to learn more fun and fascinating facts about penguins.
- Penguins are mainly found in the southern hemisphere. The Galapagos penguin is the only penguin which will travel north of the equator.
- Penguins can be found in Antarctica, South America, South Africa, New Zealand, Gallapagos, and Southern Australia.
- Their main diet is fish, krill, and squid.
- All of their hunting is done in the water. When they catch something to eat in their beaks, they just swallow it whole.
- They may be great swimmers, but they cannot swim backwards.
- A penguin can hold its breath for up to six minutes.
- Depending on the type of penguin, they have a lifespan of anywhere from six to twenty years.
- When penguins slide across the snow on their bellies it is called "tobogganing".
- Penguins gather in large groups during the breeding season. These groups are called rookeries and can contain thousands of birds.
- Most penguins return to the rookery where they were born when it's their time to mate.
- Penguins may spend a lot of time in the water, but they only breed on land.
- Sometimes the female emperor penguins will fight over the males. They've been known to slap each other with their flippers!
- Each penguin has a distinct call. This unique call allows penguins to find their chicks and mate in these large rookeries.
- Most species of penguins lay two eggs at a time. The exception is the king and the emperor penguin. They only lay one egg at a time.
- Most species of penguin breed in the spring or summer months, with an incubation time of one to two months.
- Both the mother and father penguin will care for the young penguins for several months.
- The fastest penguin is the Gentoo Penguin. They've been known to reach 22 miles per hour when swimming.
- There are seventeen species of penguins with seven of these being found in Antarctica only.
- Penguins mate for life.
- Emperor penguins are the largest species of penguins, standing on average 3 '7" all and weighing 75 pounds. Emperor penguins can also stay underwater for up to twenty minutes.
- The smallest species of penguin is the little blue penguin, which is also called the fairy penguin. This little guy stands on average 16" tall and weighs 2.2 pounds.
- Penguins have a lateral nasal gland which allows them to drink salt water.
- The black and white coloring of the penguin may look like a tuxedo to us, but it serves to camouflage the penguin in the water. The black makes a swimming penguin hard to see from the sky while the white makes it blend in with the light shining from above.
- Leopard seals, orcas, and sea lions all love to eat penguins. Other predators of penguins include the Australian sea eagle, cats, foxes, and rats. However, the penguins which live in Antarctica do not have any land based predators.