15 Facts (and Pictures!) That Prove Penguins Are the World’s Most Adorable Animals
Every day is a good day to appreciate these tuxedo-wearing birds.
Nearly all penguins live in the southern hemisphere
Contrary to media representations of the North Pole, no penguins live up there. The 17 penguin species (some scientists say there are 20) are spread out between Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa. The only exception is the Galapagos penguins, who live close to the equator on the Galapagos Islands and occasionally venture into northern hemisphere waters. Find out some amazing animal species (including a penguin) that you can only find in one place in the world.
Penguins have been around for a long time
An amateur fossil hunter discovered the bone of an extinct penguin ancestor, and scientists say it’s 61 million years old. That means it probably outlived the dinosaurs that went extinct 65.5 million years ago. Fossils also suggest that this prehistoric bird could fly and could grow up to five feet tall.
They eat a lot
Penguins are carnivores, and their diets consist of fish, krill, crabs, squid, and other sea creatures. According to Smithsonian Magazine, they can eat up to two pounds of food every day during summer months, but eat only a third of that during the winter. Don’t miss these adorable animal pictures that’ll make you say “aww.”
Their sneezes serve an important purpose, though. Because they eat so much seafood, penguins also consume a lot of saltwater. To get rid of all that salt, their supraorbital glands above their eyes filter it out of the bloodstream, and then, the penguins excrete it through their bills or their sneezes.
The littlest penguin may be the cutest
Little blue penguins (also called fairy penguins) really are little. They only grow to be 13-15 inches tall, and adults only weigh 2.6 pounds. These photos of baby wild animals will instantly brighten your day.
Emperor penguins are the largest species
They’re almost 4 feet tall and can weigh up to 88 pounds.
Penguins are expert swimmers
No, these adorable birds can’t fly. Instead, they use their wings to fly through the water (so to speak) at speeds up to 25 miles per hour.
They can’t help but waddle
Penguins’ bodies are shaped to easily glide through water, with a long body and short legs. So when they walk, the result is a clumsy-looking waddle. Penguins also get around on land by hopping and tobogganing, where they glide on their bellies and use their feet and wings to gain speed. You’ll want to check out these “facts” about animals you probably have wrong.
They spend most of their time in the water
According to the National Ocean Service, penguins spend about 75 percent of their lives in water. They go on land to mate, lay eggs, and raise their babies. If these penguin photos make you giggle, you’ll love these hilarious bird photos.