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Penguin Facts For Kids

Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds. They live almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, with only one species, the Galapagos penguin, found north of the equator.

Scientific name: Spheniscidae
Speed: Emperor penguin: 3.7 – 5.6 mph
Lifespan: Emperor penguin: 20 years, Little penguin: 6 years
Height: Emperor penguin: 3.6 – 4.3 ft., Little penguin: 12 – 13 in., Galapagos penguin: 19 in.
Mass: Emperor penguin: 51 lbs, Little penguin: 3.3 lbs, Galapagos penguin: 5.5 lbs

Facts about Penguins for Kids

  • Penguins eat krill, fish and squid.
  • The penguin species with the highest population is the Macaroni penguin with 11,654,000 pairs.
  • The species with the lowest population is the endangered Galapagos penguin with between 6,000-15,000 individuals.
  • Penguins can be found on every continent in the Southern Hemisphere from the tropical Galapagos Islands (the Galapagos penguin) located near South America to Antarctica (the emperor penguin).
  • Penguins can spend up to 75% of their lives in the water.
  • The emperor penguin breeds in the coldest environment of any bird species; air temperatures may reach -40° (F/C), and wind speeds may reach 89 miles per hour!
  • Penguins are social birds. Many species feed, swim and nest in groups. During the breeding season, some species form large groups, or “rookeries”, that include thousands of penguins.
  • Each penguin has a distinct call, 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 and summer.
  • Incubation varies from 1 month-66 days depending on the species.
  • King and emperor penguins lay one egg. All other species of penguin lay two eggs.

Types of Penguins

  • Adelie Penguin
  • African Penguin
  • Chinstrap Penguin
  • Emperor Penguin
  • Erect-crested Penguin
  • Fiordland Penguin
  • Galapagos Penguin
  • Gentoo Penguin
  • Humboldt Penguin
  • King Penguin
  • Little Penguin
  • Macaroni Penguin
  • Magellanic Penguin
  • Rockhopper Penguin
  • Royal Penguin
  • Snares Penguin
  • Yellow-eyed Penguin