are very interesting birds. There are several facts you may or
may not know about these non-flying birds. Penguins come from the
order Sphenisciformes and the family Spheniscidae. There are 17
or 18 known species in the world, with the question being whether
the two Eudyptula species are actually distinct species.
Penguin Facts: Species Location
Penguins live in the southern hemisphere. Many people assume
that they are found only in cold climates like the icy areas
of Antarctica, but that isn’t exactly true. In reality,
only a few species of penguin live in Antarctica. Three of
the penguin species actually live in the tropics, reaching
as far north as the Galapagos Islands. You will find most of
the larger species of penguin in the colder regions, as they
are able to retain heat better, and the smaller penguins can
be found in the temperate and tropical climates.
Penguin Facts: Physical Characteristics
The largest species of penguin is the Emperor Penguin. The adult
Emperor Penguin averages about 3 to 4 feet tall, with a weight
of at least 75 pounds, often more. On the other side of the
spectrum, the smallest penguin species is the Little Blue Penguin.
Popularly referred to as the Fairy Penguin, the Little Blue
Penguin is only a little over a foot tall and about 2 to 3
Penguin Facts: Migration and Feeding
Penguins are actually flightless birds and they prefer to stay
and move within large groups. Half of their life is spent on
land and half in the ocean where they feed on mostly krill,
fish, squid and other forms of sea life.
History of Penguins
Penguins are an ancient species, first appearing in the Eocene
era around 40 million years ago. While many other species of
bird from back then, such as Palaeeudyptes and Pachydyptes,
are now extinct. Most fossils found of penguins are large,
but not larger than today’s Emperor Penguin. All fossils
found indicate that all penguins lived in the southern hemisphere.
The Name Penguin
The name penguin is thought by some to derive from the Welsh
words pen (head) and gwyn (white), applied to the Great Auk
because of its white patch between the bill and the eye, or
from an island off Newfoundland known as "White Head" due
to a large white rock. According to another theory, the original
name was pen-wing, with reference to the rudimentary wings
of both Great Auks and penguins. A third theory is that penguin
comes from the Latin pinguis (fat).
Interesting Penguin Facts
- The penguin
is an unofficial symbol of the United States Libertarian
- The Linux
mascot Tux is a penguin.
mate for life.
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