Kids love to know lots of facts about the members of the animal kingdom. This time, we’ve brought your kids some fun facts about penguins.
Amazing Facts About Penguins That Your Child Must Know
Penguins, we have to agree, are the most beloved birds with a lot of unique characteristics we hardly know about. Here is some information about these aquatic birds:
- Even though penguins belong to the bird family, they cannot fly. They are flightless birds who love to swim in the icy ocean water. They can swim really fast after diving deep inside the ocean.
- There are 18 species of Penguin. King Penguin, Emperor Penguin, Adelie Penguin, Chinstrap Penguin, Gentoo Penguin, Little Penguin, Magellanic Penguin, Humboldt Penguin, Galapagos Penguin, and African Penguin are a few.
- Most penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere. We think that penguins live only on cold continents like Antarctica but it is not so. They also live on warm continents like Australia and South Africa.
- As penguins can’t fly, a lot of people think that they can be classified as mammals. But penguins fulfil all the biological characteristics of birds – they have feathers, they lay eggs, and they are warm-blooded.
- Penguins spend half of their life on land and the other half in water. Evolution has changed their wings to act like flippers, thus making them great swimmers. They have black and white feathers which give them a good camouflage and keep them warm in the icy cold weather.
Other Facts About Penguins for Children
Here are a few more amazing facts about these seabirds that your kids would love to hear.
- Galapagos Penguins are the only penguin species that live right near the equator.
- Emperor Penguins are the largest species of penguins. They are as tall as 3 to 4 feet.
- Did you know these Little Blue Penguin facts for kids? Little Blue Penguins, also known as Fairy Penguins, are the smallest of the penguin species and have a height of just 16 inches. They are known for their blue feathers and small size.
- Zavodovski Island currently hosts approximately 2 million Chinstrap Penguins and holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest penguin colony.
- All penguins are great swimmers. But, Gentoo Penguins are the fastest penguin species. They can speed up to 22 mph.
- Penguins mostly eat fish. They also eat krill, squid, crustaceans and octopus. Penguins drink saltwater while hunting for fish. They have a special gland above their eyes that filters out salt from their blood. Then, they eject the salt through their beaks.
- Penguins’ lack of teeth is compensated by the spines present on their tongue and inside of their beak. This helps them grip their prey. When penguins waddle with their feet or slide on their belly across the snow, it is called as ‘tobogganing’. This movement conserves energy and aids quicker movement.
- Penguins live in large colonies. This results in a wide display of visual and vocal cues.
- Once the female penguin lay two eggs, both parents share incubation duties.
- Penguin eggs are smaller than any other bird species when compared with the weight of the parent birds.
- Penguins cannot breathe underwater. They can stay underwater for just 7 to 20 minutes.
- In Emperor Penguins, the gender roles are reversed. While the male incubates the egg, the female goes out to hunt. Once hatched, the male penguin produces milk for the chick through a gland in his oesophagus. It is surprising to know that when a female Emperor Penguin loses her baby, she often tries to kidnap another unrelated chick.
- Penguins don’t have predators on land and are not used to danger from animals. So they don’t exhibit fear towards humans. But, they do have water predators – sharks, leopard seals and orcas.
- Young penguins, especially among species such as Emperor Penguins, assemble in large ‘crèches’.
- Unlike birds that have hollow bones making it easy for them to fly, penguins have dense bones. Also, scientists have discovered that some penguins swallow small stones. These two factors reduce buoyancy and aid diving.
Penguins are adorable little creatures that are the subject of many movies and books. Read your kid these fun facts about penguins and quiz him about it!