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Penguin Facts for Kids

Madhura Pandit
Did you know that penguins are actually birds, not animals? Presented here are many more fascinating facts about penguins for kids.
You love watching Pingu or must have enjoyed watching movies like Chilly Willy or Happy Feet, all based on penguins. Penguins are aquatic birds found in the continent of Antarctica. Although they have wings, they are flightless and use their wings as flippers. There are around 17 species of penguins known to man.
Do you know how the name penguin stuck to this bird? What do these birds eat? What are their physical characteristics? The facts mentioned below will give you answers to these questions.

Interesting Facts about Penguins

According to a popular thought, penguins are called 'gentlemen' as their body coat appears similar to a black tailcoat worn by gentlemen. Living in an alien land of Antarctica has also made these creatures mysterious and interesting. Let us take a look at some very interesting penguin facts.
  • As mentioned above, there are about 17 known species of penguins. Adelie penguins, African penguins, Chinstrap penguins, Emperor penguins, Galapagos penguins, Gentoo penguins, King penguins, Macaroni penguins, Magellanic penguins, Rockhopper penguins, Yellow-Eyed penguins, etc., are the names of some of the species.
  • The macaroni penguins are called so because they have feathers on their head which resembles a hat worn by men in the 17th century. The name is, in no way, related to macaroni or pasta.
  • The Emperor penguins are the largest among all other species of penguins, with weight around 35-40 kg and height 1.1 meters.
  • The chinstrap penguins are called so because they have a thin black strap like pattern on their chins.
  • If you take a look at the body shape of penguins, you will find that it is shaped like a torpedo. This natural physical characteristic helps in enabling penguins to swim faster.
  • The color of the penguin coat also helps in protecting the birds against its predators. However, it is still dangerous for penguins to stay on snow for a long time, and hence, they spend most of their time in water.
  • There are several myths regarding the origin of the term 'penguin' and it is still disputed. It is believed to be derived either from the French word pingouin or the Latin word pinguis.
  • Penguins, although birds, cannot fly, and hence, are even known as flightless birds. They make use of their flippers to swim in water.
  • Penguins thrive on fish and other mollusks. They also eat snow rather than drinking water.
  • The female penguin lays two eggs at the same time, but, only one of the two survives.
  • As contrary to other birds, both the male and female penguins are involved in taking care of their young one. The male penguins huddle together to provide warmth to the young one.
  • Another interesting penguin fact is that these birds use sign language for communication. If you take a closer look, you will notice that they flap their wings and even shake their heads for communication.
  • Lastly, note that a group of penguins is known as a rookery or a colony.
These penguin facts will definitely help kids enrich their knowledge on penguins. Unfortunately these beautiful and harmless creatures are endangered by oil spills and water pollution. We must strive towards their conservation.