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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.

 

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