Penguins are aquatic, flightless birds that are highly adapted a person's in the water. Their distinct tuxedo-like appearance is called countershading, a form of camouflage that will help keep them safe in the water. Penguins do have wing-bones, though they are flipper-like and extremely suitable for swimming. Penguins are found almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, where they pick up their food underwater and raise their young on land.
Fan faves: Krill, fish and squid.
In general, penguins closer to the equator eat a great deal more fish and penguins closer to Antarctica eat more squid and krill.
The penguin species with the highest population is the Macaroni penguin with 6, 654, 000 pairs. The species with the lowest population is the endangered Galapagos penguin with between 6, 000-15, 000 individuals.
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Penguins can be found in each continent in the Southern Hemisphere from the tropical Galapagos Islands (the Galapagos penguin) located near South America to Antarctica (the emperor penguin).
Penguins will spend up to 75% of their lives in the water. They do all of their hunting in the standard water. Their prey can be found within 60 feet of the surface, so penguins do not need to swim in deep water. They catch prey in their beaks in addition to swallow them whole as they swim. Some species only leave the water just for molting and breeding.
Penguins are social birds. Many species feed, frolic near the water and nest in groups. During the breeding season, some species form massive groups, or “rookeries”, that include thousands of penguins. Each penguin has a distinct telephone, allowing individuals to find their mate and their chicks even in large groups.
Mating Season: Varies depending on the species, though most breed during spring plus summer.
Incubation: Varies from 1 month-66 days depending on the species.
Number of young: King and emperor penguins lay one egg. All other species of penguin build two eggs.