10 Facts about Penguins

Everyone loves penguins, they are adorably cute and have a funny little waddle which can’t help but bring a smile to your face. Here are 10 interesting and fun facts about penguins.

1. 17 Species of penguins

There are a total of 17 species of penguins. They are:

  1. Adelie Penguin
  2. African Penguin
  3. Chinstrap Penguin
  4. Emperor Penguin
  5. Erect-Crested Penguin
  6. Fiordland Penguin
  7. Galapagos Penguin
  8. Gentoo Penguin
  9. Humboldt Penguin
  10. King Penguin
  11. Little (or Blue) Penguin
  12. Macaroni Penguin
  13. Magellanic Penguin
  14. Rockhopper Penguin
  15. Royal Penguin
  16. Snares Penguin
  17. Yellow-eyed Penguin
A Rockhopper Penguin
A Rockhopper Penguin

2. The Southern Hemisphere

All 17 species of penguin are naturally found exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere.

South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as many small islands in the southern Pacific Ocean are all home to penguins.

3. The Northernmost penguin

The Galapagos penguin is naturally the northernmost penguin, as the name suggests it lives on the Galapagos Islands near the equator. It is the only penguin that may rarely cross into the Northern Hemisphere, which it may do when hunting/feeding.

Of course penguins are found all over the world in captivity.

4. The North Pole myth

No penguins live at the North Pole. Sorry. Santa Claus doesn’t live with the penguins. This also means that polar bears and penguins don’t live side by side.

5. Why the Southern Hemisphere?

Penguins evolved to stay in the Southern Hemisphere due to a lack of predators on the land. There are no land predators, like wolves or bears, to threaten and attack them.

Remember polar bears and penguins don’t live in the same place.

6. Colour and camouflage

The reason for penguins being black and white is a matter of camouflage. From above, a penguins black back blends into the ocean, while from below, their white bellies are hidden against the bright surface.

Some sharks, such as the Great White, and some whales, like the Orca, have a similar camouflage.

7. Expert swimmers

Penguins are accomplished swimmers having lost the ability to fly millions of years ago. They have powerful flippers and streamlined bodies that  help them with this. They are the fastest swimming and deepest diving species of any birds.


8. Eyesight

Penguins’ eyes work better underwater than they do in the air, this is to help them spot prey while hunting underwater, even in cloudy, dark or murky water.

9. Diet

A penguins diet is made up of a variety of different marine animals, they eat fish, squid, shrimp, krill and other crustaceans.


10. The largest Penguin

The tallest penguin ever lived around 45-37 million years ago and is called Nordenskjoeld’s giant penguin. It reached close to 6 feet in height (around 5’7 feet) and weighed 200 lbs.

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