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Types Of Penguins

Updated on January 3, 2012

Penguins belong to the category of flight less birds and are generally found in extreme cold environments.

Although there are 20 different types and species of penguins, penguins are generally black and white in color, they are excellent swimmers and have an excess body fat which allows them to live in extreme cold conditions.

Penguins are also recognized with their distinct walk. Another common feature of all the penguins is that they use their wings for swimming in water and mostly all the penguins feed on fish and krill.

There are many types of penguins which apart from sharing their general features mentioned above differ in some aspects.

Some common penguins are mentioned below:

King Penguins
King Penguins

King Penguins

King penguins are commonly found in the Sub Antarctic islands which are located in the northern part of the Antarctic.

The king penguins are said to the second largest class of penguins. They are around 90cm tall and on average weigh around 14-16 kg. These penguins are recognized by their bluish outer coats.

Their belly like all the penguins is white but their coats turns black around the neck and the head region, a feature which also sets them apart.

The male king penguins are generally larger than the female ones. They are fast swimmers and have an average swimming speed of 6.5 km/h.

Rockhopper Penguin
Rockhopper Penguin
Emperor Penguins
Emperor Penguins
Fairy Penguins
Fairy Penguins

Rockhopper Penguins

The Rockhopper penguins are comparatively smaller than the king penguins and are on average 55 cm tall and weigh around 3.35 kg.

These penguins are also more common and are found on almost all the islands of the Antarctic.

The Rockhopper penguins are recognized by their red beaks, striking red eyes and bright yellow colored eyebrows. They are also famous for their hopping and jumping, hence the name Rockhopper.

The nests of these penguins are made of small pebbles and twigs and are found on rocky hills. They feed on mostly small fish, krill or squid.

Emperor Penguins

The emperor penguins are the heaviest and the tallest penguins in world. Their average weight is 35 kg and they are almost 100 cm tall.

They are fast swimming penguins with an average swimming speed of 9 km/h and are the only penguins which can withstand the most extreme cold.

The emperor penguins have a white belly and their neck region is pale yellow.

The head of these penguins is covered in black and so is their back.

The emperor penguins are also famous for their mating. Every year they cover long distances and travel miles in search for a mating partner.

Fairy Penguins or Little Penguins

The fairy penguins are very small penguins and perhaps the smallest in the world.

They are mostly found in the coast lines of New Zealand and Australia and are one of the very few penguins which can live in moderate climate.

The fairy penguins apart from their miniature size are recognized by their bluish coat.

They build their nests under thick plants or holes found in rocks.

Adelie Penguins
Adelie Penguins
Gentoo Penguins
Gentoo Penguins

Adelie Penguins

The Adelie penguins are average sized penguins and are mostly found in all the areas of the Antarctic coast as well as the neighboring islands.

On average they are about 30-50 cm tall and weigh around 4.5 kg.The adelie penguins have long feathers and a red colored bill which is mostly covered by the feathers.

The most distinguishing feature of these penguins is the white ring around their eyes. Another unique feature of these penguins is that apart from fish and krill these penguins also feed on snow.

The adelie penguins build their nest by piling stones together. The males of adelie penguins look after the eggs laid by the female which is another interesting fact about these penguins.

They are very strong and are brilliant swimmers. They can jump easily onto the land from the water.

Gentoo Penguins

The Gentoo penguins are also mostly found along the northern coast of Antarctic.

They are the fastest swimming penguins in the world reaching a speed of up to 36km/h. They have a stiff tail, a red beak and orange feet.

On average they are about 32 inches tall and weigh around 10-19 pounds heavy.

The Gentoo penguins live in colonies and mostly feed on krill and small fish. They are also recognized by a patch of white feathers on their head.


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    • hassam profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Pakistan

      Corrected! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Just noticing that you said both the emporer and the gentoo penguin were the fastest swimmers. The real fastest swimmer is the gentoo penguin.

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 

      7 years ago

      Very informative hub. Some of these types of penguins I've never even heard or seen before. Wow, I guess you learn something new everyday. I saw this hub a while back, but I haven't commented in it until now, but I have to say you did a great job on it. Definitely well done. :)


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