Penguins are the most adorable aquatic creatures residing in the Southern Hemisphere. Though these creatures fall under the category of birds, they cannot fly. In other words, they are exclusively flightless and are always seen in packs. To know more about these appealing flightless birds, keep reading below. Since they live far away from the human population, everyone stays curious about their habitat, living, and feeding habits. And these facts about the penguins are worth knowing about.
Where are Penguins found?
Where do penguins live?
Penguins more commonly live in the Southern Hemisphere, that is, in the temperate zone. However, one unique species of penguins reside in the northern region of the equator too. They are the “Galápagos penguin.” Though they strongly rely on aquatic life, they cannot withstand cold climatic temperatures such as that of Antarctica. But they love to stay out of water bodies as well. In fact, according to several pieces of research, they spend half time of the day on land and the rest half on seas.
Penguins in Mumbai
For the first time ever, a penguin took birth in India in the Byculla zoo in Mumbai. However, it passed away quite soon due to health issues. It was a Humboldt penguin. Their species can survive from 15 to about 20 years. Therefore, currently, Mumbai’s Byculla zoo is the only place where one can find them. However, there had been various reports about their high maintenance and upkeep cost. Due to this factor, the government often questions the zoo authorities for charging massive amounts behind their upkeeping. But honestly speaking, the penguins at the Byculla zoo in Mumbai are really worth watching. They indeed have undeniably become the center of attraction in the zoo.
Where are penguins in Australia?
If you are living in Australia or are about to visit there, there are quite a few places they live.
- Sea Life Sydney, New South Wales
- SeaWorld, Gold Coast, Queensland
- Phillip Island, Victoria
- Penguin Island, Western Australia
- Lion Island, Broken Bay, New South Wales
- Shore Beach, Manly, New South Wales
Penguins in South Africa
As good as it may seem to know about penguins, there are also some places where they are becoming extinct. South Africa is one such place. The African penguins are called the Cape Penguins. Its characteristics are similar to all other species of its kind that exist all around the globe. But sadly, the poisonous bees present in South Africa killed almost 63 endangered penguins. This was after the swamp of bees attacked these innocent creatures in Simonstown, near Cape Town. However, 60 of these flightless birds are still safe with bee stings but with no significant injuries.
Penguins in South America
There are three species of penguins commonly found in the South American region. These unique flightless birds have adapted to survive the South American climate and habitat and coexist harmoniously. These birds are as follows:
- Humboldt Penguins
- Southern Rockhopper Penguins
- Macaroni Penguins
Penguins in Antarctica
The species of penguins found in Antarctica are as follows:
- Emperor Penguins
- Adélie Penguins
- Gentoo Penguins
- Chinstrap Penguins
- Macaroni Penguins
- Rockhopper Penguins
- Magellanic Penguins
- King Penguins
Penguins in Antarctica Facts
We have already seen above that there are eight species of penguins found in Antarctica. Moreover, there exist nine other species of these aquatic birds as well. These additional nine species could be seen all around the globe. Thus, there is an overall of seventeen species of these creatures available on our planet. Out of the eight species already mentioned above, the Emperor and the Adélie penguins reside on the Antarctic continent. The other three species that is the Chinstraps, Macaronis, and the Gentoos, live in the northern and sub-Antarctic regions. The remaining three species that is, the Rockhoppers, Megallanics, and the Kings, live only in the sub-Antarctic parts.
Penguins are birds or mammals
According to various researches and experiments, it has been proved that penguins are birds are not mammals.
Penguins are mammals or not
This fact is often mistaken that a penguin is a mammal. But is that really so? No, it’s not. They are unique flightless birds. Even if they cannot fly and walk on two feet on land like humans or swim underwater, they are not mammals. The most important reason behind this point is that they lay eggs instead of giving birth to young ones. However, there are still significant debates regarding this topic among many pundits. The exact conclusion is still not found. Thus, there are many who still firmly believe that these creatures are mammals. But speaking both zoologically as well as biologically, it proves clearly that they are just birds and not mammals.
Do Penguins make nest?
Penguins lay eggs, and in order to do so, they find a safe place to hatch their egg. This is known as a nest. These nests come in a variety of shapes, such as scrape nests, mounds, flat grounds, or even burrows. However, there are some of their species as well who do not particularly have any nests. Examples of such species are the Emperor and King.
Do Penguins lay eggs?
There are various debates all around the world about the fact of whether penguins are mammals. But their breeding habit of laying eggs proves that they are indeed not mammals. These creatures develop sexually at around three to eight years of age. Often breeding starts in quite a few in the age of three to four years. After that, they go through mating and nesting and finally lay eggs after the incubation process. These eggs are usually white, bluish, or greenish in color.
We have already come across a variety of interesting facts about these flightless birds. However, there are quite a few other facts as well that intrigue people. Keep reading below to know about these facts.
The penguins usually have very short legs. But they are undeniably strong. Their webbed feet, visible claws, and hind placement of legs in their body aid them in walking and swimming quickly. It also helps them to maintain a streamlined structure and balance their body, as this is what allows them to walk straight.
Penguins have flippers
The wings of these aquatic birds are advanced and are in the form of flippers. This means that they possess broad and flat elbow bones and fused wrists which enable them to swim efficiently. Thus, they all together form a flipper for swimming at their will. The flippers also help them to propel through the water.
What penguins eat
Penguins usually like to eat various fishes, krill, and squids. However, the food preference of these flightless birds varies from species to species.
What penguins eat in Antarctica
Penguins of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions mainly feed on squids and krill. However, some species, such as the Emperors, feed primarily on Antarctic silverfish. Their average quantity of food each day is roughly around 2 to 3 Kg. But quite often, they increase their intake to store body fat for the winter season or to feed their chicks.
What penguins use to swim
Penguins have paddle-like flippers, which they use exclusively for swimming.
How penguins walk
Penguins use twice times of their energy to walk in a back and forth motion like a waddle. But they are not as quick as they are on the water, even if they can stand erect like humans. They extend their arms in both directions to maintain their balance on the ice.
Penguins propose with pebbles.
Proposal of penguins is usually in the form of gifting pebbles which male gifts to females. Whether they will lay eggs will depend on the fact how deeply the female will like the pebble.Read Also: Intracellular Fluid: Definition & Composition
Some Frequently Asked Questions
How tall are penguins?
The heights of penguins vary from around 49 cm to about 1.3 m.
Do penguins fly?
No, they are flightless birds.
Do penguins have streamlined bodies?
Yes, their bodies are streamlined, which helps them to swim at ease.
Do penguins have ears?
Yes, penguins have ears, but the position is not the same as other birds and is usually covered by feathers.
When do penguins sleep?
They usually sleep in the afternoon on their bellies or in burrows. However, quite often, they are seen sleeping at night as well. They can sleep even while floating on the water surface.