11 Fun Facts about Penguins
- Penguins are beautiful black and white birds. They are loved by all children. They waddle around. They are the most social and friendly birds. Penguins stay together in large groups of thousands. They are not afraid of human beings.
- They cannot fly like other birds. They flap their wings. They swim in water at a speed of 15miles/hour.
- Penguins cannot breathe underwater. They hold their breaths for a long stretch of time in water. They spring out of water to catch a breath of air before diving back in. But even then they spend three fourths of their time in water.
- They are warm blooded birds with body temperatures of around 100 F. But they stay in cold weathers like the Antarctica. They have a layer of fat called the blubber, under a thick layer of feathers, which helps in keeping their body warm. They also huddle together to keep themselves warm. But some penguins flap their wings to keep themselves cold in warmer temperatures.
- A gland below their tails, excrete oil which helps in keeping the shine on the penguins’ bodies. Penguins loose their feathers once a year.
- Penguins eat fish and shrimp. They have a hook near their bill which grabs the fish. They have bristles on their tongue which helps prevents the slippery fish from escaping. Large penguins can carry 30 fishes in their mouths at one time. Penguins also eat stones, as these help in digestion.
- They drink salt water as fresh water is not available where they live. A special gland in the penguin’s body removes the salt out of the water.
- Penguins mate and raise children in an area called rookery. The male penguin calls out aloud and struts his wings about when he wants to attract the attention of a female mate. Penguins sing to each other to familiarize themselves with each other’s voices.
- Penguins bounce over the rocks for fun. Penguins also love to slide on their ice using their bellies as toboggans. Penguins jump from high ice cliffs and dive into the water for fun.
- Penguins use rocks to make their nests on the grounds. Male and female penguins take turn in guarding the eggs. Female penguins go out in search for food and come back after two weeks. Then the male penguin ventures out to search for food. When the baby penguin or the chick is born, she sings to familiarize its voice to her parents. The chicks stay together in a group while their parents are out hunting for food.
- Penguins fall prey to many animals and birds like the Australian sea eagle, the leopard seals, foxes, cats and snakes. The white bellies of the penguins make it impossible for underwater killers to see them.
Did You Know?
- There are seventeen types of penguins.
- The Adelie penguin, the smallest of the penguins, has a black head and a white circle around its eyes; which distinguishes it from other penguins.
- African penguins have an upside down black “U” on their front with black dots.
- Chinstrap penguins have a black band that runs across their chins.
- Gentoo penguins have a thick white band running across their heads.
- The largest variety of penguins is the Emperor penguins, which have orange blushes on their cheeks. They are almost four feet tall and weigh 45 kilograms. Emperor Penguins have been featured in the English movie “Happy Feet,” and around thirty countries have used Emperor Penguins on their stamp photos.
- The Macaroni penguins have black and yellow feathers sticking out from the sides of their heads. This inspired the nursery rhyme “Yankee Doodle went to town…stuck a feather in his cap and called it Macaroni.” There are over 11,654, 000 pairs of Macaroni penguins.
- There are only 5000 Yellow Eyed penguins living in the world, making it the rarest type of penguins.
Where do Penguins live?
Penguins are found in the southern hemisphere like Antarctica. Global warming, and oil expulsions into the sea is making if difficult for penguins to survive. Penguin fossils show that penguins existed sixty million years ago.
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