To celebrate our flightless feathered friends, here are 9 things you should know about penguins.
1. How many species of penguin are there?
The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition says there are 17 recognized living species, 11 of which have been listed as vulnerable or endangered. Discoverwildlife.com reports there are 18 species:
- Little blue
- Southern rockhopper
- Northern rockhopper
2. Where do they live?
Penguins are found in Antarctica, South Africa, Chile, Peru, Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Australia and a number of sub-Antarctic islands, according to discoverwildlife.com.
Penguins are very nearly exclusive to the Southern hemisphere, but Galapagos penguins live right on the equator, so there are a few living in the Northern hemisphere.
3. Are penguins birds?
Yes. Penguins fulfill all the requirements to be classified as birds: They have feathers, lay eggs and are warm-blooded. They aren’t the only birds who can’t fly. Emus, ostriches and cassowaries are also flightless.
4. Do penguins have knees?
Penguins have knees, but you can’t see them under all those feathers. According to discoverwildlife.com, scientists think the birds’ legs have evolved to help them swim better and are set back farther on their bodies. This makes walking more difficult and results in the iconic penguin waddle.
5. How do emperor penguins stay warm?
Emperor penguins are the only species that stays on land during the Antarctic winter. They can cope with the cold because they have 100 feathers per square inch, more than any other bird species.
6. What is the tallest penguin?
The emperor penguin is the tallest, reaching a height of 47 inches.
7. What is the shortest penguin?
Little blue penguins are the smallest, reaching only about 13 inches in height.
8. How fast can a penguin swim?
The gentoo penguin is the fastest species. It can swim up to 22 mph.
9. How deep can a penguin dive?
Penguins can dive to depths of more than 820 feet, but, most of the time, they stay in the top 32 feet of water. The deepest dive recorded is by a female emperor penguin that reached 1,755 feet below the surface.
Now, enjoy this cute posts on Twitter for #WorldPenguinDay.