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Nine Insane (But True) Penguin Facts

The following article was written by Melinda McKee.

Who doesn’t love penguins? These fashionable and faithful beings are remarkable in so many ways! The following are nine things that you may or may not know about penguins:

  1. Penguins can’t fly. OK, so maybe you knew this one. But isn’t it cool that evolution has adapted these tuxedo-wearing friends’ wings into miniature fins suited for swimming at great speeds
  2. Q: What’s black, white, and red all over? A: A sun-burned penguin! (Poor guy ….) If you think all penguins live in the chilly continent of Antarctica, you’d be mistaken! All species of penguins are native to Earth’s Southern Hemisphere, but only a few species live in Antarctica, and some even live near the equator
  3. Penguins look for “the one.” While many animals are polyamorous, rockhopper penguins usually form monogamous pairs for a breeding season. 
  4. Penguins live long and prosper. Depending on the species, wild penguins can live for 15 to 20 years. During that time, they spend up to 75 percent of their lives at sea. 
  5. Females wear the pants in the family. While female Adélie penguins are at sea during the winter, males take care of their eggs for two months without eating, using their fat as energy. 
  6. Penguins go to great lengths. Gentoo penguins make up to 450 dives a day foraging for food. They can dive as deep as 655 feet and can stay underwater for up to seven minutes. 
  7. One size doesn’t fit all. A penguin’s weight can range from 2 pounds (the fairy penguin) to 90 pounds (the emperor penguin). 
  8. Penguins are team players. In the harsh Antarctic winter, emperor penguins will huddle tightly together to conserve warmth and take turns going to the warm center of a circle and then to the perimeter to help others enjoy protection from the cold. 
  9. They’re great communicators. King penguins returning from a foraging trip at sea can find their chicks in a crowd of 50,000 young penguins just by listening to their voices. 

Many penguin species are in decline, partly because of overfishing by humans of the fish they rely on for food. By leaving cod and other fish off our plates, we can help our penguin pals.

Do you know any penguin facts that I left out?

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  • chander kumar soni says:

    so interesting and amazing facts.

  • Cristina Cassinelli says:

    I got to rescue 2 penguins off the coast of Uruguay – they swim all the way from Punta Tombo in ARgentina to the Gulf of Guanabara in Rio de Janeiro, and some young and weak ones wet stranded on the way. They wash up on the shores in Uruguay and if nobody rescues them they die. They are too young to feed for themselves, you have to feed them by hand. It was an incredible experience, they lived in my house, shared space with my dogs, until I was able to take them to an organization calle SOS Fauna Marina that cares for them and then releases them when there’s a penguin migration going by. The penguins loved being caressed, they recognized me as the person who fed them – they would cry out loud when they saw me, they were so lovable!