Penguin Facts

The penguin has been a symbol of the one flightless bird everyone loves.

A favorite in movies and cartoons, their funny way of walking has caused them to be endeared by people everywhere.

Penguin Facts for Kids

  • Penguins can’t fly but they can take to the air when they leap from the water onto the ice.
  • The Gentoo Penguin can reach top speeds of 22 miles an hour.
  • On average most Penguins can swim between 4 and 7 miles an hour.
  • Did you know that most Penguins live in the Southern hemisphere?
  • They spend about half of their time in the water and half on land.
  • Penguins are black and white which gives them good camouflage whilst in the water from predators. From above they cannot be seen because of the dark ocean color and from underneath the white blends in well with the sunlight.
  • Most of them live in places like Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa, and Chile.
  • The Emperor Penguins is found in Antarctica is one of the tallest and heaviest the penguin species. at 91.44-111.75 cm (36-44 in.) tall and weighing in at 27.21-40.82 kg. (60-90 lbs.) The smallest is the little blue, also just called the ‘little’ penguin and grows to only 25.4-30.48 cm. (10-12 in.) tall and only weighs .90-1.36 kg (2-3 lbs.)
  • Penguins have torpedo-shaped bodies and there are actually 19 species of penguins living in the southern regions of the globe.
  • Penguins come in a variety of sizes but also have an array of colors and adornments. Besides the black and white penguin that we are familiar with: the crested penguin has yellow feathers that create a crown, emperor and king penguins have yellow and orange blushes around their necks; bushy yellow eyebrows are on the heads of some penguins and many have crests of features on their head as well as masks.
  • Penguins are marine birds living around eighty percent of their lives in the ocean water. Penguins live on every continent of the earth’s Southern Hemisphere.
  • Two myths are that penguins live in Antarctica and that penguin only live where it’s cold. Neither of these is true. There are penguins that live on equator tropical islands, such as the Galapagos penguin.

What are some Penguin habitats?

Did you know that penguins spend most of the time in the water? but of course, they also spent time on land where you will find them in colonies. There are many different species of penguin some like Cold Water, tropical beaches, spending time on ice and you also find them on rocky coastal areas.

Where do penguins live?

You will find many penguins in the southern hemisphere. they can be found in places like the Galapagos Islands and in places like Antarctica. They inhabit many different countries like Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Antarctica, and many subarctic islands.

What do penguins eat?

They are expert swimmers and can swim to deep levels in search of prey. You will find that their diet can vary depending on where they live, but generally, they will eat Krill, fish, and squid. Penguins are listed as meat-eaters (carnivores) and they have a very big appetite. Some large penguin groups eat so much that they can actually make a severe difference in the amount of food left for other creatures.

Each species can have particular habits related to where they live, the availability of food and sometimes the dangers that they can face from other predators can contribute to some of their behaviors. They can be very sociable and at the same time very shy. Some of their behavior can be very naughty and very temperamental.

There are some penguins that are die-hard hunters when it comes to their food. The yellow-eyed penguins will dive as deep as 120 meters (393.70 ft.) and as many as two hundred times a day in search of fish.

What do penguins say?

Penguins can communicate in a number of different ways they use things like eye contact and body movement to help express what they want. But they can also be very noisy and use different types of sounds for each situation.

What do penguins drink?

Like us, penguins like to drink water the amazing thing about them is that they can drink saltwater. Something that was humans don’t do. The only reason they can do this is that they have special glands that allow them to extract excess salts from their blood. This is done by excreting a salty fluid from their nose. When on land they also drink from fresh pools of water streams when they have access to this.

How do penguins sleep?

One of the things that they can do is sleep for a few minutes at a time during the day or at night time. They do of course sleep for longer periods on land during the night. They can sleep in various positions standing up, lying down for example. You will also find them sitting in the water and I’m sure you have seen the classic images of penguins sleeping with part of their bill tucked under a flipper.

When do penguins lay eggs?

I suppose this depends on the breed of penguin but in general, between three and eight years old a penguin is mature enough to do this. King penguins usually lay a single egg with many of the other species laying two. I’m sure you have seen many nature programs on TV that will show Emperor penguins the female will leave the egg on the male’s feet to keep it warm whilst she will go out and hunt for several weeks for food.

When you see a group of penguins together, that is called a ‘colony’. Penguins will mate almost every year with the same mate.

Some penguins lay only one egg, while others will lay two eggs. Both parents will take turns placing the egg on their feet and covering it with the warmth of their features.

The emperor penguin is the only exception to this, as the male is the caretaker of the egg.