It’s time for finding some interesting facts in the world of birds. And what best to start than the most interesting bird of all time. The PENGUINS. So get ready for some interesting penguin facts.
Penguins are a group of aquatic flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere. There are 17 species of penguins among which most of them are becoming endangered very quickly.
The largest living species is the Emperor Penguin (about 1.1 meters in height and weigh 35 kg or more) and the smallest penguin species is the Fairy Penguin (40 cm tall and weighs 1 kg).
In general, Penguins are not dimorphic, i.e, male and female penguins look like the same.
Penguins are carnivorous. They find all their food exclusively in the sea and mostly feed on fish and squids.
Other than these two they sometimes take crabs, shrimps also in their diet. Penguins do not have any teeth. They use their beak to catch prey.
They have spines on the roof of their beak and tongue. Sometimes they swallow pebbles and stones along with their food. This was believed to help them in digestion and to dive deep in the water.
Unlike other birds, Penguins molt their feathers once in a year. Molting may take a week or so, during this time they lose almost half of their body weight. They can not go into the water until they grow a waterproof coat.
All the penguin species live in the southern hemisphere. No penguin can be found in the north pole.
Penguins are a highly social animal. They stay, hunt, and swim in groups. Each individual has their distinct sound which allows individual penguins to find their mates and chicks among the groups. The colony size can reach up to 1 million penguins.
Though they generally live in coldest climate possible, they maintain their body temperature at around 100 deg F. This is due to the fact that they have a thick layer of insulating feathers that keep them warm in the water.
Penguins cannot breathe underwater. They have to come to the surface after 10-15 minutes. They can propel themselves over up to 2 meters above the water. This technique is similar to the Dolphins.
Though penguins spend most of their lives in the sea they come to land to lay eggs.
Penguin eggs are relatively smaller with proportion to their body weight when compared with other birds. A penguin eggshell is much heavier (10-15% of the egg’s weight) than other bird’s eggshells. This helps them to minimize the risk of breakage in a rough environment.
Penguin’s unique coloring helps them to hide from predators. The black back helps them to blend into the dark water when they are looked from above by the predators and white belly helps them to blend with lighted sky and snow when looked from below by various predators in the deep water. Some penguins are born with brown plumage rather than a black one. Their life-cycle generally become shorter due to lack of camouflage.
Penguin’s eyes work best in water and they are extremely short-sighted in the land. Some species of penguins (very rare) have yellow cat-like eyes.
Penguins can drink salt water and through a special gland (the supra-orbital gland) filter the salt from going into the bloodstream.
Penguins have the much more feathers (generally 70 feather/sq inch) than any other bird.
The bones in their wings have fused together and become flippers so they can not bend their wings. Penguins cannot fly. But they are the fastest swimmers (up to 36km/hour for Gentoo penguins) and deepest divers among all the bird species.
Penguins rarely experience any land predators that is why they are not much with human interaction.
Penguins are very popular around the world, primarily for their unusually upright, and lack of fear of humans. More than 30 countries have featured penguins on their stamps.
Hope you have found some facts which are very interesting as well as new to you. If you have any suggestion please mention it in the comment box. Thanks for reading.