Fun Facts About All 17 Penguin Species

Penguin Colony There are 17 species of penguins in the world, and all of them special and worthy of recognition. Here are some facts about every species of penguin, to brighten your day and bring a smile to your face.

Adult Adelie Penguins
Adelie Penguins

Adelie are the smallest species of penguins who live in Antarctica. Their numbers are actually increasing, despite climate change. The little Adelie penguin can hold their own in a fight and has been known to combat larger predators like seals.

African penguins are perfectly adapted to live in a climate with a hot summer and cold winter. Their feathers trap heat in the winter and keep cool in the summer by sending blood to the exposed pink skin near their eyes, which releases heat.


Emporer Penguins Diving
Emporer Penguins

Chinstrap penguins are recognizable for the thin black band of feathers under their chin. Their legs and feet are pink.

Emperor penguins can dive up to 1,500 feet below the ocean’s surface? They can remain underwater for over 20 minutes, all to get lots of food for their chicks.

Erect-crested penguins live in New Zealand and Australia and live in colonies numbering in the hundreds of birds. They move around not by waddling but by hopping.

Fiordland penguins make their nests under bushes and tree roots, and spend so much time at sea that they sometimes have been observed to grow barnacles on their tails.

Galapagos penguins are the only species of penguins to live in the Northern Hemisphere. They communicate with each other partially through body language.

Gentoo penguins dive up to 450 times per day for fish. They are the fastest swimmers of all penguins, reaching speeds of up to 22 miles per hour.


Adult King Penguin with Chick
King Penguin and Chick

Humboldt penguins get their name from the ocean current that runs along the Western South America coast, and, not coincidentally, they also live along those shorelines. They have great eyesight.

King penguins are the second largest species of penguins in the world, second only to the Emperor penguins. Because their chicks are so fluffy, the young birds can sometimes appear larger than the adults.

Little (Blue) penguins are the smallest species of penguin in the world, on average weighing less than three pounds. They make their homes in Australia and New Zealand and are also sometimes called Fairy penguins.

Macaroni penguins are named for their distinctive yellow crests, which resembled the colorful plumed hats that were in fashion at the time of their discovery. Read more about these penguins here.

Magellanic penguins were named after Ferdinand Magellan, whose expedition first spotted them. They hunt in flocks and form colonies during breeding season.

Rockhopper penguins can stay at sea hunting for several days. When they’re resting in a comfortable place, they cover their faces with their flippers.


Adult Snares Penguin
Snares Penguin


Royal penguins only dive for food during the daytime. They are also migratory, moving between islands for breeding and fishing.

Snares penguins are named for the Snares Islands in New Zealand, where they live. They can gather in groups of up to 500 individuals.

Yellow-Eyed penguins are known for, you guessed it, their yellow eyes and yellow feathers around the eye. They are the fourth largest penguins in the world.




Please leave any questions or other penguin facts in a comment down below. Thank you for reading and, until next time, goodbye!

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