Amazing Penguin Facts for Kids

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  • Penguins are birds that do not fly.
  • Over millions of years a penguin’s wings have evolved and instead of flying they work as flippers to help them swim.
  • There are many different species of penguins. Adelie, African, Chinstrap, Emperor, Erect-crested, Fiordland, Galapagos, Gentoo, Humboldt, King, Little Blue, Macaroni, Magellanic, Rockhopper, Royal, Snares and Yellow-eyed Penguins.
  • Penguins are carnivores meaning they eat meat.  Penguins east fish, squid, krill, shrimp and other crustaceans.
  • Penguins catch their food in the water.  They catch the food using their beaks and swallow it whole.
  • Penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere that is the southern half of the earth.
  • They live mostly Antarctica, South America, South Africa, New Zealand and Galapagos Islands.
  • Penguins spend half of their time on land and the other half in the water.
  • Penguins can swim 20 miles per hour.
  • Their tuxedo appearance is called countershading and works as camouflage.
  • Seal leopards, sea lions, orcas, skuas, snakes, sharks, and fox are all predators of the penguins.
  • Global warming and oil spills also hurt penguin’s habitat.
  • The largest penguins are the Emperor Penguins.  They can be 3ft 7 inches tall and weigh 75 pounds.
  • Emperor Penguins live in Antarctica.
  • The smallest penguins are the Little Blue Penguins also known as Fairy Penguins.  They are only 16 inches tall and weigh 2 ½ pounds!
  • Little Blue Penguins live in Southern Australia and New Zealand.
  • Larger penguins live in colder climates and smaller penguins live in warmer climates.
  • How do penguins stay warm in those cold climates?  Penguins living in cold climates have a layer of fat called blubber under their skin to keep them warm.  They also have a fluffy layer of feather covering their skin over those feathers are another layer of feathers.  Penguins living in cold climates have also known to huddle together in large groups to keep themselves warm.
  • Did you know that penguins drink salt water?  Penguins have a gland in their body that acts like a filter to separate the salt from the water.
  • When male penguins are ready to find a mate they let out loud calls to attract a female.
  • When penguins find mates they sing to each other so they can recognize their voices.
  • When penguins find mates they stay with that mate for a very long time.
  • How are baby penguins born?  Female penguins lay their eggs on the shore. 1-2 eggs are laid, but usually 1 hatches.
  • Penguins take very good care of their eggs.  After the female penguin lays her egg she goes out to look for food.  The male penguin will sit on the egg to protect it until she returns. When she comes back he leaves to look for food.
  • It takes about 35 days for a penguin egg to hatch.
  • A baby penguin is called a chick.
  • The chick will eat regurgitated food from their mother.  Regurgitated food is food that comes out of the mother’s stomach.
  • A chick will leave the nest when they are around one month old.
  • Penguins are social animals.  Penguins often nest with other penguins.
  • Penguins can be playful.  They like to go tobogganing. They will lay on their tummy and slide through the ice and snow. Penguins will also dive off cliffs into the water, get out and dive again for fun.
  • No penguins live in the North Pole!
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