Penguins are simply adorable. From their distinguished coloring to their distinctive waddle, they are one of the cutest animals around. Whether you're studying them for a homeschool project or part of your homeschool curriculum, or simply are curious about what makes a penguin so unique, here are fun facts about penguins to keep you on your toes!
1. Penguins weigh anywhere from 2lbs to 80lbs!
Penguins come in all sizes and can range in weight from 2lbs all the way up to 80lbs. An Emperor penguin is the largest of the species and can weigh as much as a child. The smallest penguin, the Little Blue or Fairy Penguin, weighs in at an average of just over 2lbs.
2. Penguins have flippers not wings.
Although penguins are birds, they have flippers instead of wings. As you can imagine, this makes it impossible for them to fly, but they are excellent swimmers! In fact, penguins can swim up to 15 mph.
3. One of the biggest threats to penguins is climate change.
While penguins still make a tasty meal for seals, killer whales, and some birds, one of their biggest threats is the melting ice. Since they rely on the ice for their breeding ground, the effects of climate change mean that there is less stable ice upon which their young can hatch.
4. The black and white coloring of the penguin is actually for camouflage.
Penguins have white bellies so that, when they're in the water, predators cannot distinguish them from the sky above. Their bellies blend in with the ice and their black coloring acts as camouflage from the air as it blends in with the water.
5. Penguins live 15-20 years.
The average life expectancy of a penguin is 15-20 years. Some penguins may live longer and some may become victims of predators, but the average penguin lives for nearly two decades.
6. Penguins eat krill.
Most penguins have a diet that consists mainly of krill and squid. The smaller the penguin, the smaller the krill and squid that it eats. Some of the larger penguins, like the Emperor penguin, eat fish, as well as krill and squid.
7. Each penguin has a unique call.
Just like humans have their own unique voice, penguins have their own calls. Scientists believe that this helps them identify their mates in large crowds.
While penguins may all look similar, they have proven to researchers that they are unique individuals. Their ability to adapt to their environment makes them one of the most unusual and endearing bird species in existence.
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