There are many fascinating birds living on our planet. Vast majority of them fly above our heads, however, there are some that you will never see fly. But nonetheless, they are still fascinating and have many aspects to them that most other birds who fly – don’t. I’m talking about penguins, by the way. We simply must discuss penguins, so, let’s waste no more time and get down to the 15 Unbelievable Facts About Penguins.
- Like I’ve already suggested, yes, penguins are birds. Some people believe that they are mammals, but they’re not. Their ancestors used to fly and they lay eggs. They’re flightless birds.
- Instead of wings that help to fly, penguins have flippers that help to swim. They are, in fact, amazing swimmers and do much better in the water than on the surface.
- Almost all penguins naturally live in the southern hemisphere. The ones who don’t are in captivity, or they are Galapagos penguins who sometimes travel north of the equator. No penguins live in the North Pole and therefore they don’t encounter Polar Bears.
- Despite their cuteness, penguins are predatory carnivores who mainly eat fish, shellfish and other sea creatures that they encounter.
- Emperor Penguins are the tallest species, standing nearly 1.2 meters or 4 feet tall. The smallest ones are the Little Blue Penguins, who are only about 40 centimetres or 16 inches tall.
- The fastest penguins are Gentoo Penguins, who can reach speeds of 35 kilometers or 22 miles per hour.
- The reason why penguins are colored in black and white, kinda like they are wearing a tuxedo, is because it’s a camouflage. From above, the black color makes them blend in murky depths of the ocean. From below, the glaring white bellies make them indistinguishable from the bright surface of the sea.
- Fossil records seem to indicate that the earliest penguin ancestor lived more than 60 million years ago. Which would mean that the ancestor likely lived along with dinosaurs and survived their extinction.
- Penguins ingest a lot of seawater while hunting for fish, but a special gland behind their eyes, the supraorbital gland, filters out the saltwater from their blood stream. Penguins then secret the salt water through their beaks or by sneezing.
- Most beards lose some feathers and let others regrow at the same time, constantly. not penguins. They moult everything at the same time and then spend about two or three weeks regrowing all the feathers on land, in a process called the catastrophic moult.
- All penguins, except for two species, breed in large colonies that can consist of up to 1000 members.
- It depends on their species, but many penguins mate with the same partner over their lifetime, making them monogamous.
- Also, most species of penguins return to the exact same nesting sites that they were born in and they lived in before.
- Many penguin species create nests for their eggs out of pebbles and loose feathers. Emperor penguins are an exception. They incubate a single egg each breeding season on the top of their feet. Under a loose fold of skin is a featherless area with a concentration of blood vessels keeping the egg warm.
- If female Emperor penguin’s baby dies, she will often kidnap another baby to raise on her own. Strong motherly instincts right there.
And that’s it. Penguins are not your ordinary types of birds and deserve to be recognized by many various distinctive aspects that makes them so different and so special. And that’s it for the 15 Unbelievable Facts About Penguins