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Penguin Amazing Facts 4u

60 Amazing Fascinating Facts About Penguin| Amazing Facts 4U

  1. Penguins are one of about 40 species of flightless birds. Most flightless birds live in the Southern Hemisphere.
  2. The earliest known penguin fossil is the Waimanu manneringi, which dates from about 60 million years ago. The fossil was discovered in Antarctica in 1980.
  3. There are 18 species of penguin in the world.
  4. Out of 18 species , 13 species are either threatened or endangered, with some on the brink of extinction.
  5. The Erect crested Penguin (Eudyptes sclateri) has lost approximately 70% of it’s population over the last 20 years.
  6. The Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) has lost over 50% since the 1970s.
  7. The most common threats to all penguin survival are pollution, loss of habitat by human encroachment, commercial fishing, oil dumping,  and global warming.
  8. The Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) is named after Ferdinand Magellan, who first saw them in 1520. Oil spills kill approximately 40,000 of them off the coast of Argentina every year.
  9. All penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere .Most penguins are found in South Africa, New Zealand, Chili, Antarctica, Argentina, and Australia.
  10. Only two species, the Adélie (Pygoscelis adeliae) and the Emperor Penguins, live on the frozen land of Antarctica.
  11. Amazingly penguins are not found in the Northern Hemisphere.
  12. A wild penguin typically lives between 15 to 20 years, spending approximately 75% of their lives in the water.
  13. A group of young penguin chicks is called a “crèche.” A group of penguins in the water is called a “raft.” A group of penguins on land is called a “waddle.”
  14. Penguin nesting areas are called “rookeries” and may contain thousands of pairs of birds.
  15. The emperor penguin is the largest of the penguin species standing up to 4 feet and can weigh up to 45 Kg  when mature .
  16. Little Fairy Penguins (Eudyptula minor) are the smallest of all the penguins. They stand 16 inches high and weigh just 1 Kg. They live in the warmer waters around Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.
  17. King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) are second in size only to Emperors. A King is almost 3 feet tall and can weigh nearly 16 Kg. Kings don’t waddle the way most penguins do. Instead, they run fairly quickly on their feet.
  18. Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis papua) can grow up to 30 inches tall and weigh up to 6 kg. They have unique colorful orange bill, and a big tail.
  19. The most rare penguin in the world is the Yellow eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) have yellow cat-like eyes with only around 5,000 living in the wild. They live along the southeastern coast of New Zealand and nearby islands.
  20. Penguins’ unique coloring is called counter shading. To predators looking down from above, the penguins’ black backs help them blend into the dark ocean. To predators looking up from underwater, the penguin’s white belly blends in against the light sky and snow.
  21. Amazingly penguins only have one mate their entire life and “propose” by giving their mate a pebble.
  22. Most penguin species breed during the spring and summer. Egg incubation varies from 1 month and 67 days, depending on the species.
  23. Out of all the penguin and bird species, the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the only penguin breeding during the Antarctic winter. Air temperatures may reach -40° F (-40° C) and wind speeds may reach 89 mph (144 km/hr).
  24. Most penguin species lay two eggs. However, Emperor and King Penguins, the two largest species, build no nest at all and lay just a single egg.
  25. Even though penguins spend much of their lives at sea, they all return to land to lay eggs.
  26. They warm their eggs on their feet and cover it with a flap of skin called a “brood pouch” during incubation period.”
  27. Amazing fact is that a father Emperor penguin withstands the Antarctic cold for 60 days or more during incubation period without eating during which it loses lot of weight..
  28. When penguin chicks hatch, they are not waterproof, so they must stay out of the ocean. They depend on their parents to bring them food and to keep them warm until waterproof feather replace their delicate coats.
  29. Emperor Penguins have the widest variety of vocalizations of all penguins. Scientists believe this is because they have no fixed nest site and must rely on vocal calls alone to find their chicks and mate.
  30. A penguin’s normal body temperature is approximately 100° F (38° C).
  31. Penguins are not sexually dimorphic, meaning male and female penguins look alike and are difficult to differentiate.
  32. Chinstrap Penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) get their name from a thin black line that circle under their chin. Chinstrap Penguin colonies may reach up to one million penguins. They are among the boldest and most aggressive of all penguins.
  33. Chinstrap penguins are most populous penguins with a total population of over 13 million. They live on icebergs off the coast of Antarctica.
  34. Chinstrap Penguin’s exceptionally loud cries have earned them the nickname “Stonecracker” penguins.
  35. Amazingly larger penguins, such as Emperor Penguins, can dive as far as 1900 feet for as long as 22 minutes, making it the deepest-diving non flying bird and the longest submerged bird. It has solid bones rather than air-filled bones, which eliminates the risk of barotrauma. Their heart rate slows to 15-20 beats per minute and non essential organs shut down during long dives.
  36. Penguins often slide on their tummies over ice and snow. This is called tobogganing. It is an efficient way to travel as Penguins travel faster by tobogganing than by running.
  37. Penguins routinely dive to depths between 300 and 500 feet. They can stay under water for 20 minutes before coming to surface to breathe.
  38. Penguins are carnivores that catch all their food live in the sea.They eat mostly fish and squid. They also eat crustaceans, such as crabs, shrimp, and krill. A large penguin can collect up to 30 fish in one dive.
  39. Amazingly penguins do not have teeth. Instead they use their beak to grab and hold wiggling prey. They have spines on the roof of their beak pointing backwards to help them get a good grip. Penguins even have spines on their tongues.
  40. Penguins swallow pebbles and stones as well as their food possibly to grind up and digest their food. The stones may also add enough extra weight to help penguins dive deeper.
  41. Most penguins can swim 5 to 6 miles per hour, and some can have bursts of speed of up to 16 mph. They can walk between 1.7 mph and 2.4 mph.
  42. Penguins’ eyes work better under water than they do in air. Scientists believe penguins are extremely short-sighted on land.
  43. When adelie penguins hop off the ice and into the ocean, they speed amazingly from 0 to 16 mph in less than one second. This protect them from leopard seals that swim at an average speed of 4 mph.
  44. The fastest underwater swimming bird is the Gentoo Penguin, able to swim up to 22 mph (36 km/h).
  45. In 2012, scientists discovered that a primary reason penguins can swim so fast is that they have a special “bubble boost.” When penguins fluff their feathers, they release bubbles that reduce the density of the water around them .The bubbles act as lubrication that decreases water viscosity and helps to increase speed.
  46. Amazingly the penguin is the only bird that can swim, but cannot fly.  It is also the only bird that walks upright.
  47. Penguins swim so fast that they can leap to heights as high as 7 feet (2 meters) above water. The technique they use to cue through waves like dolphins or porpoises is called “porpoising.”
  48. Fact is penguins cannot walk backwards. They are too top heavy and their feet are too small to support their weight while walking backwards.
  49. Amazingly penguins are able to drink salt water due to the presence of a special supra orbital gland within their bodies that filters excess salt from their blood stream allowing them to live around salt water bodies and survive.
  50. Penguins’ feathers are packed together four times as densely as flying birds’ (About than 70 per square inch), to keep water out and to trap a layer of air next to their skin.
  51. The Emperor Penguin has it even denser (About 100 feathers per square inch). It is this, rather than their thin layer of blubber, which keeps them warm, rather like a Thermos flask.
  52. Penguins spend several hours a day caring for their feathers to keep them waterproof. For extra protection, penguins spread oil on their feathers. The oil comes from a special gland near their tail feathers.
  53. Penguins molt, or lose their feathers, once a year. They always molt on land or ice and until they grow new waterproof coats, they are unable to go into the water. Molting may take weeks, and most penguins lose about half their body weight during this time.
  54. Amazingly penguins’ eyes work better underwater than they do in the air, giving them superior eyesight to spot prey while hunting, even in cloudy, dark or murky water.
  55. Penguins are highly social, colonial birds that form breeding colonies numbering in the tens of thousands. They have used the same nesting grounds for thousands of years.
  56. Some penguin colonies on Antarctica are huge and can contain 20 million or more penguins.
  57. Amazingly each penguin has a distinct call, which allows individual penguins to find their mates and chicks even in the largest groups.
  58. Penguins exhibit remarkable community features, during the cold Antarctic winters where temperatures can go as low as -60 Celsius (-140 degrees Fahrenheit). Penguins have been observed huddling in groups for warmth. Amazingly one penguin stands in the middle while the others crowd around it, once it is warm, it moves to the outside and a new penguin takes its place.
  59. Penguins typically are not afraid of humans.
  60. More than 30 countries have featured the Emperor Penguin on their stamps.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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