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Let’s Get to Know Penguins With These 12 Fascinating Facts

In most of the species, the male penguin incubates the eggs while the female leaves to hunt for weeks at a time.

Penguins are one of the most fascinating birds in the world. On land, they are known for their awkward waddling, but in the sea, they swim so gracefully that you would know that are well-adapted to life in the ocean.

Here are 12 interesting facts about these stunning birds

1. Fossils show that Penguins have lived on earth for about 60 million years. This means an ancestor of the penguins of today survived the asteroid crash that killed off the dinosaurs.

2. Due to their inability to fly, a lot of people think that penguins are mammals rather than birds. However, penguins have all the biological characteristics to be classified as a bird: they lay eggs, they have feathers and they are warm-blooded. Also, there are other birds that can’t fly like ostriches, emus, and cassowaries.

3. While all 17 species of penguins are found exclusively in the southern hemisphere, penguins are also found in South Africa, Chile, Peru, Galápagos Islands, New Zealand, Australia and a number of sub-Antarctic islands.

4. The Emperor penguins are the tallest species, reaching a height of nearly 4 feet tall. The smallest species is the Little Blue Penguin, which is only about 16 inches.

5. The fastest species is the Gentoo Penguin which can swim at speeds of up to 22 mph.

6. Their beautiful colouring serves for camouflage while they are swimming. From above, their black backs bend into the dark depths of the ocean and, from above, their white bellies match with the bright light from the sun. This helps to keep them hidden from predators such as leopard seals and also stay unseen when hunting for prey.

7. Almost all species of penguins breed in large colonies of up to one thousand birds. Only two species don’t do this.

8. They are carnivores. Their diet consists of fish, squid, crabs, krill and other seafood.

9. Penguins eat a lot of seafood, meaning that they ingest a lot of seawater. However, they have a special gland between the eyes – the supraorbital gland – which helps to filter salt from their bloodstream. And they excrete this through the beak and by sneezing.

10. In most of the species, the male penguin incubates the eggs while the female leaves to hunt for weeks at a time. As a result, pudgy males that can stay without food for weeks are the most desirable.

11. Both male and female penguin parents care for their young for several months until the chicks are mature enough to hunt on their own.

12. Penguins do not encounter danger from animals on solid ground, they exhibit no fear of human tourists.

How many of these penguin facts did you like? Tell us in the comments section below.


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