Penguins are some of the craziest birds on earth! They can’t fly, they have flippers and they live in the south pole! But there’s loads more interesting facts about penguins – here are some of the best! If you thought these penguin facts were pretty cool, why not check out these animal facts, or test your knowledge with our animal quizzes. We’ve also got animal jokes if you fancy a laugh!
Penguins can’t fly
Like chickens, ostriches and emus, the penguin is a flightless bird. But what they lack in flight they make up with in amazing swimming skills! Their wings are more like flippers, which they use to speed through the sea. Impressive!
Penguins come in all different sizes
From the little rockhopper with his cool hairstyle to the mighty emperor penguin, there are lots of different types of penguins. The emperor penguin is the biggest, they can grow to nearly 4 feet tall – that’s almost as tall as you!
Most penguins live in the southern hemisphere
You might think of penguins when you think of Father Christmas and polar bears, but actually, they live on the other side of the world from the North pole! Most of them never leave the southern hemisphere, hanging out in places like New Zealand and South Africa, but most of them live in Antarctica
Emperor penguins can stay underwater for 20 minutes
Penguins are birds, which mean they breathe oxygen, like we do. But because they spend so much of their time in the water, they can hold their breath for a really long time, almost 20 minutes in some cases!
Penguins are camoflaged
Like the polar bear and other animals who live in the snow, the penguin’s plumage blends in with its surroundings, making it much harder for predators to spot them, especially in water, where they blend in with the dark shapes around them.
They can dive over 800 feet
Penguins have been recorded diving down to over 800 feet below the surface – that’s very far down, by the way. This is thanks to their amazing capacity for holding their breaths. One penguin was even recorded diving 1,850 feet! For comparison, humans only tend to dive about 60 feet max!
Penguins can drink seawater
Penguin’s spend a lot of time in the sea, and that means sometimes they need to drink seawater. Unlike us, their bodies have adapted to remove the salt – and sometimes they sneeze it out!
Emperor penguins keep their eggs on their feet
In order to keep their eggs warm, male emperor penguins will sit with the egg on their feet, and a fold of fat from their tummies sits on top to keep it warm. Adorable! They will sit like this for months until the egg hatches.
Penguins like to party
Penguins are very sociable animals, and live in big colonies most of the time. This also helps to keep them warm and protect them from predators. Sometimes colonies will have thousands of penguins in them!
Penguins like to go sledging
You might have seen pictures of penguins sliding around on their tummies, a bit like they’re sledging! It’s quicker to get around like this than walking, but penguins have also been observed doing it just for fun! Well, why not? Makes sense to us!