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Penguin Facts

Penguin Feeding Chick

When hunting, penguins will typically go for a few different kinds of prey. Penguins gravitate towards krill, which is a kind of shrimp, small squids and small fish. Different kinds of penguins will go for different kinds of prey, but they typically gravitate towards the same kind of food, as this helps to rid of competition among species. Krill makes up the majority of the diet of both Antarctic and sub Antarctic penguins.

Smaller penguins, which are found along the Antarctic and sub Antarctic, will usually feed on both krill, as well as smaller squids, while those penguins that can be found farther north will usually eat small fish that they find while swimming.

The Adelie penguin will usually feed on smaller krill, while the chinstrap penguin will gravitate and hunt for larger krill, since they are a slightly larger penguin than the Adelie penguin.

Both Emperor penguins and King Penguins will usually eat small fish, as well as small squid, and do not usually eat krill unlike many other varieties of penguins, setting them apart from some of their relatives.

Penguins will eat more depending on the time of the year, as well as the amount of food available, of course. It also depends what area the penguin is in.  A colony of around 5 million Adelie penguins can eat up to 8,100 tons of krill and small fishes in a single day, demonstrating that penguins do need a lot of food despite being a smaller bird.

Penguins typically feed while in the water, about 15 metres underwater, but this is also dependent on the season, time of day, as well as the location of the penguin while feeding.

Penguins will usually use their sight, and not their hearing or sense of smell like some other predators. Penguins can spot their prey because the majority of their prey produces light, making them much easier to spot than some other preys. Penguins will often catch their prey with their bills, and swallow it completely, without even stopping to chew at all.

Different species of penguins will travel different distances when they are looking for food. Some penguins will go as far 15 kilometres, while some will actually venture as far as over 800 kilometres for their food. Sometimes, penguins will actually get their nourishment in holes mean for seals, or other various cracks in the ice.


While there are seemingly endless breeds and varieties of different penguins, mostly all penguins breed in similar ways and have similar breeding cycles and patterns. This is really remarkable, and makes them much different from many other breeds of birds, and really makes them unique.

Since all penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere, they are used to very warm temperatures and climates. While they do need to be varied somehow, as some temperatures are simply too much for other breeds of penguins when compared to what it takes for others. When the temperature is perfect for the penguins, they are much more likely to breed with one another.

Penguins will create colonies with one another, and then they will all breed in groups. When penguins create their colonies, they will try to avoid human disruption of any kind, and will avoid anything that makes them feel uneasy, uncomfortable or unsafe in any way. After penguins get into their colonies, they’ll start making a little nest for their family. Penguins will start finding their own pairs when they’re about three to four years old, and will become very physical and communicate quite a lot when they are courting one another.

The female penguin usually always lays two eggs, but not any more. Penguins actually lay the smallest egg when compared to their body size, when compared to all other birds. Out of the two eggs, one will either not hatch, or if both hatch, one will usually be incredibly weak and may even die off, as the penguins can only really raise one chick, and much prefer to raise the stronger penguin, as they know that they’re more likely to succeed and continue breeding.

Chicks will begin to mature and grow incredibly quickly after they hatch. After 3 months, they no longer need assistance from their parents, and are typically able to find food as well as fend for themselves, with little to no help from their parents.

Most penguins will usually mate for life, but that is not always the case. Some breeds of penguins will switch partners, such as the Humboldt, or Adelie penguin. Many penguins are actually capable of ways of breeding that many scientists and researchers aren’t aware of yet.

Penguins will still breed in captivity, despite the fact that many birds will often not. However, the penguin still prefers to breed in the wild.


Penguins are adorable, sociable animals with lots of quirky facts about their lifestyle, and the way that they live their daily lives. There’s a lot of media attention surrounding penguins, and there’s no wonder why – they’re completely endearing, with their adorable waddles and loveable demeanor, and comical tuxedo-like appearance.

Penguins are very social creatures – they love to communicate among each other, chattering away, squawking, and also using different body language to communicate different feelings and thoughts. They also use this kind of communication during breeding season, to find mates, as well as to warn one another when there are predators in sight.

Surprisingly, penguins don’t fear humans – they know that we’re no threat to them! Their main threats are things like predators like seals and whales, as well as oil spills, pollution, human land development, and the harvesting of their food.

Another surprising fact about penguins and humans? They can actually walk faster than humans! While their little waddle is obviously pretty comical, it actually allows them to walk incredibly quickly, even quicker than any human.

Penguins spend the majority of their lives in the water, and actually leap right out of the water while they’re swimming or paddling around. Many penguins can hold their breath for nearly 20 minutes while under water, allowing them to swim around and hunt for their prey. While on land, penguins will walk around, collecting stones, and then store them in the crop for later use. This helps them swim or float to the surface of the water quickly, since they need to breathe again quickly and easily after being under water for so long.

The penguin’s internal heating system is truly incredible. The body of the penguin is insulated with a layer of blubber, to keep them warm. Since penguins often live in Antarctic temperatures, it’s obviously important for them to be able to keep warm and stay that way, particularly in the freezing waters, which they will dive into in order to hunt for the small fish, krill and crustaceans that they often feed on. The penguin has more feathers on its body, layered and layered, over square inch, which helps to keep it warm in the frigid waters as well. The penguin will control its blood flow through its fat as well as relying on it for body heat. The penguin’s amazing body helps it keep warm and stay that way!


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