In honor of World Penguin Day today, April 25, here are some facts about penguins!
- There are 17 species of penguins, and they all live in the Southern Hemisphere. They don’t help Santa at the North Pole!
- Penguins’ coloring is the perfect camouflage. When they’re seen from above, the black on their backs helps them blend in with the darker ocean depths; and when they’re seen from below, their white stomachs help hide them against the lighter sky.
- Penguins do not have teeth. Instead, they use their beaks and tongue to get food down.
- While penguins molt (lose their feathers and regrow new ones), they are land bound, and lose 1/2 their body weight.
- Despite being excellent swimmers and swimming faster than any other bird, penguins cannot breathe underwater.
- The average lifespan of a penguin is 15-20 years, 3/4 of which is spent in the water.
- Because penguins do not have natural land predators, they are not afraid of visiting humans.
- Penguins are very social birds, staying together to eat, swim, migrate, and raise young.
- Magellanic Penguins always come back to the same mate year after year, and male Emperor Penguins incubate eggs, holding them on their feet and covering them with their bellies.
- Penguins are considered endangered.
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