Penguins are the most adorable yet interesting species of birds characterized by their clumsy waddling and graceful swimming. When you think of birds, you must imagine a typical bird with wings and pointed beaks, but that’s not the case with them. In fact, they are completely opposite!
They are marine-based flightless birds. They use their feet as flippers, making them one of the most elegant swimmers in the bird kingdom. Dive deep into the world of penguins and read the following interesting details of penguins that make them amazing birds:
What Do Penguins Drink?
Like most birds, these creatures drink water from the sea, ponds, and lakes. Since the majority of them live in regions having no freshwater, they drink salt water. They have a special salt-filtering gland in their eyes called the supraorbital gland that filters out excess salt from water.
The salt mixes with liquid inside the gland, which expels through the penguin’s nose via its nasal passage. However, many of them prefer drinking freshwater and do so in regions having fresh water. They also utilize snow as a water drinking source.
How Do Penguins Breathe?
Penguins breathe just like other birds but have lungs instead of gills. Interestingly, they can hold their breath underwater since they can’t breathe as water will fill up in their lungs, which will kill them.
Therefore they tend to hold their breath while hunting. As a result, they have tissues that can store large amounts of oxygen. However, the ability to hold their breath varies within different species of penguins. The average duration of most is 6 minutes, whereas the duration of Emperor Penguins is 20 minutes.
What Do Penguins Do For Fun?
Penguins tend to be the most social birds out there that love to do various activities in groups, such as swimming. Since they are aquatic birds, they love to play in the water, do water stunts, and exercise their bodies. Sometimes, they even go tobogganing by laying their bodies on ice and propelling their bodies forward in a swift manner.
Where Do Penguins Live?
A penguin is a cold-loving bird that lives almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, spreading from Africa to Australia. Contrary to older belief, not all of them live in the North Pole. Rather most of them live in the South Pole.
Antarctica is not home to all species of penguins. Among the 18 species, only two species reside in Antarctica, the Emperor Penguin, and the Amelie Penguin. Antarctica is home to more than five million penguin pairs, which is the highest number.
Penguins prefer to live in areas where there are few predators and where there is plenty of water. Many of them live throughout the world, but some live in drier climates, like the Humboldt penguin found in Chile’s Atacama Desert, while some live in hotter climates like the giant penguin found in the Galapagos Islands.
Some species of penguins, the Royal Penguin, live in temperate islands such as islands of New Zealand which are neither hot nor cold, while some species, the King Penguin, live in subantarctic islands which is much colder than temperate islands.
What Do Penguins Symbolize?
Penguins are loved worldwide due to their friendly appeal, having a waddling gait, a furry coat, and a charming outlook. They are present in a large number of groups, due to which they are considered as the symbol of unity, faithfulness, sociability, parental love, and devotion.
They teach us the lesson of adaptability to thrive in the most extreme climates and devotion by staying through thick and thin with only one partner; such monogamy is not observed in other birds and animals.
Penguins are truly a symbol of parental love as they guard their eggs and babies very closely, unlike other birds. Even when the baby hatches, both penguin parents stick their babies to themselves until the baby reaches the stage where it could survive by itself.
The most likable trait is their sociability. They love to socialize and stick together in all kinds of activities, from hunting to swimming. By observing the behavior of penguins, one can get to learn a lot of family values.
What Do Penguins Eat?
Penguins’ diet is quite versatile as they eat a variety of fishes, crustaceans, and squids. They are mostly carnivores and piscivorous, meaning that they prey on fishes such as silverfish, mullets, sardines, and opa fish. The choice of food varies among different species of penguins.
The penguins found in Antarctica or subantarctic climate tend to eat krill or crustaceans such as shrimp, squid, and crabs whereas they can be found in the North Pole eating fish.
How Do They Sleep at Sea?
Penguins are quite unusual when it comes to sleeping. In fact, they don’t sleep but take countless naps during the day. Unlike other birds and animals who go on a deep slumber and sleep on their bellies, they sleep in different positions, from standing upright on their feet to hiding their beak under their wings.
The reason behind the penguins taking naps is to protect themselves from being preyed upon by leopard seals and sharks. They nap for a few minutes as they have to stay alert of any potential danger. For protection, they usually sleep in groups.
Penguins can even nap in the sea and go to the bottom of the sea since the water is warmer there. However, they can’t hold their breath for a long time, so they can only nap for a few minutes. Only the Emperor Penguin is known to hold its breath for about 27 minutes.
How Do a Penguin Sleep?
Penguins sleep in different positions depending on the temperature. Some of them, such as the King Penguin sleeps on their bellies while some small-sized penguins sleep in burrows.
As opposed to popular belief, not all penguins sleep standing on their feet. In fact, Emperor Penguin found in Antarctica is seen sleeping upright due to a very interesting reason. Since the subantarctic climate is extremely cold, they adapt to frigid conditions by standing on their feet so that they come less in contact with the cold ground.
Since their feet are well-insulated, they don’t feel cold. Also, the penguins put their weight on heels to provide maximum protection from cold.
Penguins are indeed the most exotic and marvelous birds that truly teach us human beings the essence of faithfulness, love, and dedication. With their charming gaits and cuddly appearances, they are truly nature’s God-gifted treasure.