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