Penguins are some of the most intriguing creatures on earth. They live in cold, harsh environments and yet they manage to survive and thrive. We’ve compiled a list of penguin facts that will help you appreciate these amazing animals just a little bit more.
1. Not all penguins live in the southern hemisphere
While most penguins do call the southern hemisphere their home, there is also a species of penguin that is found in the northern reaches of Greenland and Canada. The Emperor penguin lives almost exclusively on pack ice and spends half its life at sea and the other half incubating its eggs and rearing its young.
2. Penguins were once so abundant that penguin stew was considered a delicacy
There’s nothing like a penguin for dinner! We hope you weren’t thinking about ordering some up now, as penguins are now fully protected by international law and it is very difficult to obtain permission to kill them. For penguins, the road to extinction was not long. Commercial penguin hunters were mostly active in the 1800s and 1900s and it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of penguins were killed during the early 20th century.
3. Penguins can’t fly but they can swim at up to 25 miles per hour
Penguins are superb swimmers and they use their powerful flippers to propel themselves through the waters. Their body shape helps them maneuver efficiently, but penguins can’t fly like other birds. Instead, penguin wings serve as both rudders for swimming and paddles for walking. Penguins walk on land with an awkward waddle that many find adorable.
4. Penguins are carnivores
If penguins aren’t hunting fish, they are satisfying their meat cravings with other animals. Many penguin species live on small fish like sardines or anchovies, but penguins also eat octopus, squid, and larger prey like penguin chicks of other penguin species! As the largest penguin species, the Emperor penguin will take penguins from an even smaller penguin species. Penguins are adorably vicious predators!
5. Penguins have fewer feathers than most birds
Penguins have around 100 feathers per square inch on their bodies, which is much less than what other similarly sized birds have. This helps penguins stay dry and warm in the water.
6. Penguins can spend weeks at a time underwater without coming up for air
Since penguins spend half their life on the surface of ocean waters, they need to adapt to long periods underwater. While penguins don’t store oxygen as whales do, penguins will slow their heart rate down to conserve oxygen when they are underwater.
The penguin is a flightless bird that lives in some of the coldest climates on earth. They were once considered a delicacy, but now can only be observed from afar as penguins are fully protected by law. Penguins use their wings to swim and to walk and have very little feather coverage which helps them stay warm and dry. Penguins eat only meat which is often fish and even penguins of other penguin species, and penguins can spend weeks at a time underwater without coming up for air. Though they cannot fly, penguins are birds with 100 feathers per square inch on their bodies, much less than other birds in their size class. penguins can survive in cold climates and penguin facts show penguins are penguins with 100 feathers per square inch on their bodies, much less than other birds in their size class.