Amazing Penguin Facts for Kids

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Penguins are incredible flightless birds. Learn about a penguin’s habitat, what they eat and their characteristics with these amazing penguin facts for kids.


What is a penguin?

Penguins are a species of bird that cannot 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.

What does a penguin look like?

Penguins have a torpedo-shaped body that is built for swimming. They have a small head, short neck, long beak, short tail, and webbed feet. Their wings are more like flippers and built for swimming. many people are familiar with the black and white often called tuxedo coloring of a penguin but did you know they can come in a variety of colors. Some colors of a penguin include black, white, and shades of grey. They can also have accents colors around their head of yellows and oranges.

The size of a penguin depends on the species. 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.  Penguins have multiple layers of feathers. They have a fluffy layer of feathers covering their skin, over those feathers is another layer of feathers.  Penguins living in cold climates have also known to huddle together in large groups to keep themselves warm.

What does a penguin eat?

Penguins are carnivores meaning they eat meat.  Penguins eat 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.

Unlike humans penguins can drink saltwater?  Penguins have a gland in their body that acts as a filter to separate the salt from the water.

group of penguins

Where do penguins live?

Penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere that is the southern half of the earth.

They live mostly in Antarctica, South America, South Africa, New Zealand, and Galapagos Islands.

Penguins are social animals and live in groups called colonies.

Penguin Habitat

Penguins spend half of their time on land and the other half in the water.

Penguin’s bodies are built for swimming. Penguins are excellent swimmers and divers. They can swim 20 miles per hour.

Their tuxedo appearance is called countershading and works as camouflage on land and in the water.

Seal leopards, sea lions, orcas, skuas, snakes, sharks, and fox are all predators of the penguins.

Global warming and oil spills also hurt the penguin’s habitat.

Baby Penguins

baby penguin

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 hatch.

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.

Chicks 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.

Facts about penguins

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!


Penguin Jokes

Which bird always gets first place? Answer A peng-win of course!

Why shouldn’t you ever write a book on penguins? Answer Because writing on paper is much easier!

What does a penguin eat? Answer: Ice-burgers!

Where do penguins keep their money? Answer a Snow-bank!

What do you call a cold penguin? Answer A Brrr-d!

What do penguins call a dance? Answer Snow Ball

Why didn’t the penguin jump off the iceberg? Answer: Because it had cold feet!

What do you call a penguin in the desert? Answer: Lost!

Why don’t penguins fly? Answer: Because they aren’t tall enough to be pilots!

What’s black and white and waddles around? Answer a penguin of course!

what do penguin’s wear in the summer? Answer Flipper flops!

Why don’t penguins live in Great Britain? Answer: Because they are afraid of Wales!