The world’s smallest penguin is the Little Blue Penguin, also known as the fairy or little blue penguin (scientific name Eudyptula minor). The largest collected height of a Little Blue Penguin was measured at 51cm (20in). The heaviest recorded weighed 2.3 kg (5 lb 1 oz).
The world’s largest penguin is the Emperor Penguin. It stands up to 122 cm (48 in) tall and can weigh between 22 and 45 kg (49-99 lb). Males are generally larger than females.
Penguins live mainly in cold climates, such as Antarctica. A small number of penguins live in the temperate zone, where it is not always cold. These include the Galápagos Penguins on the Galápagos Islands off Ecuador, Humboldt Penguins of coastal Peru and Chile, African Black-footed Penguins living off southern Africa, and the only two species found north of the equator—the Galápagos Penguin and the Humboldt Penguin.
Penguins are generally social birds, living in large colonies called rookeries. The largest penguin rookery in the world is at Cape Royds on Ross Island, Antarctica, with an estimated 750,000 penguins. Other large penguin colonies are found on the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, and Macquarie Island.
Penguins feed mainly on krill, fish, squid, and other marine invertebrates. Some species hunt small land animals such as rodents or young birds.
Penguins are good swimmers and can dive to depths of over 100m in search of food. They spend most of their time at sea, coming ashore only to nest.
Penguins are interesting birds with many unique features. Here are some fun facts about penguins:
Fun Facts About Penguins:
Penguins are birds, but they can’t fly.
All penguins live in the southern hemisphere.
Emperor penguins are the largest penguin species and can grow to be up to 4 feet tall.
The smallest penguin species is the little blue penguin, also known as the fairy penguin, which grows to be about 16 inches tall.
Penguins have webbed feet which help them swim. They can swim up to 25 miles per hour.
Penguins eat mostly fish, but some species also eat krill, squid, and other marine invertebrates.
Penguins drink salt water and filter it through their tongues to get rid of the salt.
Penguins have many adaptations that enable them to live and thrive in cold temperatures including dense feathers, thick skin covered in scales, and a layer of insulating fat.
Although they spend most of their time in the water, penguins actually cannot breathe underwater – they must come up to the surface every few minutes to take a breath.
Penguins are very social creatures and live in large colonies of up to several thousand individuals.
Each penguin has a unique call that they use to communicate with other members of their colony.
Penguins mate for life and typically lay two eggs at a time, which they incubate for about six weeks before the chicks hatch.
Once hatched, penguin chicks are cared for by both parents and stay with their family group until they reach maturity at around three years old.
Although most penguins eat fish, some species also eat krill, squid, and other marine invertebrates.
Penguins have few natural predators, but their main threats come from humans, who hunt them for their meat and oil, and from introduced predators such as foxes and cats.
Penguins are found in Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and other sub-Antarctic islands.
There are 18 different penguin species currently recognized by scientists.
Penguins have been on Earth for millions of years – the first penguin fossil was found in New Zealand and dates back to about 62 million years ago.
The largest recorded penguin colony is located on Ross Island in Antarctica and contains over 20 million penguins
Emperor penguins are the only species of penguins that breed during the winter months – all other penguin species breed during the summer.
Emperor penguin chicks must endure some of the harshest conditions on Earth, with temperatures that can reach as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit and winds of up to 100 miles per hour.
Penguins have a thick layer of feathers that helps keep them warm in the cold Antarctic waters – they can even lose up to 25% of their body heat through their feathers without getting cold.
Penguins have a special gland above their eyes that filters out the salt from the seawater they drink – this gland secretes the salt water through a nostril located on the side of the beak.
Although penguins typically eat fish, they have been known to eat seagulls, seals, and even other penguins on occasion.