Penguins are flightless birds. They have adapted flippers to help them swim in the water. All 17 species are found exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere. Emperor Penguin is the tallest of all of them with around 4 feet height. The little blue Penguin is the smallest standing only about 16 inches. The Gentoo Penguin is the fastest species. They can reach swimming speeds up to 22 mph. The Galapagos Penguin is the only penguin species that moves north of the equator in the wild. Penguins swallow a lot of seawater while hunting. To filter out the saltwater from the bloodstream, they have a special gland behind their eyes called the supraorbital gland.
Quick Facts: –
- They do not have visible ears but their sense of hearing is excellent.
- They eat fish and a range of other sea life including krill, shrimps etc.
- Penguins are monogamous but this can also change depending upon species.
- Sea ice is vital for them because that is where they breed and hunt for food.
- Most penguin species are loyal to their nesting site. They return to the same rookery in which they were born.
- They exhibit no particular fear of humans because they are not used to dangers from animals on the solid ground.
- Penguins in Antarctica have no land-based predators.
- To stay warm their feathers trap a layer of warm air next to the skin. It serves as insulation for them.
- Their black and white plumage serves as camouflage while swimming.
- Penguins are one of few birds that have their own holiday. World Penguin Day is on April 25.