Fast Facts for Kids
Penguin Facts for Kids

Penguin Facts

  • Common Name: Penguins
  • Order: Sphenisciformes
  • Family: Spheniscidae
  • Total Species: 17 to 20 (debated)
  • Diet: Piscivorous (Fish Meat)
  • Habitat Range: Antarctica, South America, Africa, and Australia
  • First Appeared: ~60 million years ago

27 Penguin Facts For Kids

  1. Penguin is the common name for a group of aquatic flightless birds in the Spheniscidae family.
  2. Paleontologists have discovered fossil evidence showing penguins first appeared around 62 million years ago.
  3. Penguins are carnivorous and have a rich diet in fish, crustaceans, and other forms of sea life.
  4. The exclusive diet of sea life makes penguins piscivores, which is an animal that eats primarily fish.
  5. Penguin species can be found in Africa, Antarctica, Australia, and South America.
  6. Virtually all penguin species live in the Southern Hemisphere except for the Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus), which can be found on the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador, South America.
  7. Penguins have evolved to live in and along the water and their preferred habitat is the coastline.
  8. There are between 17 and 20 living penguin species, there is a debate among researchers on biodiversity.
  9. The 17 to 20 living penguin species are divided into six different genera: Aptenodytes, Eudyptes, Eudyptula, Megadyptes, Pygoscelis and Spheniscus.
  10. Larger penguin species are found in colder climates (Antartica) and smaller penguin species are found in warmer climates (Africa, Australia, and South America). The closer to the educator you get, the smaller the penguin species.
  11. Across all penguin species there is an estimated 41 million penguins living worldwide.
  12. Penguins can be easily recognized by their black and white plumage that looks like a tuxedo.
  13. The black and white plumage provides unique camouflage for penguins when swimming. The white plumage on their belly mimics sun reflecting on the water surface and the black plumage on their backs makes it hard to see them from above.
  14. Penguins don’t have many land predators, but some birds of prey will go after juvenile penguins and eggs. There are several predators that prey on penguins in the sea, such as seals, orcas, and sharks.
  15. Penguins have wings, but don’t fly, instead their wings have evolved into flippers and makes them agile swimmers.
  16. Penguins don’t walk or run, they waddle with their feet and slide on their bellies to move.
  17. Penguins are impressive jumpers, smaller species can jump up to 9 feet, while larger species can only just 1 to 2 feet.
  18. Penguins can drink saltwater; they have glands known as supraorbital gland that can filter salt out of water.
  19. The average lifespan of all penguin species is between 11 and 12 years.
  20. Penguins on average can hold their breath between 2 to 3 minutes underwater.
  21. The largest living penguin species is the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) with an average adult weight of 77 pounds.
  22. The smallest living penguin species is the little blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) with an average adult weight of 2.2 pounds.
  23. The average swimming speed of all penguin species is between 4 and 7 miles per hour.
  24. The fastest swimming penguin species is the gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) with a swim speed of 22 miles per hour.
  25. The deepest diving penguin species is the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) with a depth of 600 feet.
  26. The rarest and most endangered penguin species is the yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) with a population of only 4,000.
  27. The largest living or extinct penguin species was the Palaeeudyptes klekowskii with a height of 6.6 feet and a weight of 256 pounds.

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Penguin Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the below images will be helpful for your research on penguins. Below are six pictures of various penguins. These pictures should help you better understand these flightless birds.

The Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri)

A picture of a Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri).

The Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua)

A picture of a Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua).

The Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti)

A picture of a Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti).

The Erect-crested penguin (Eudyptes sclateri)

A picture of a Erect-crested penguin (Eudyptes sclateri).

The Yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes)

A picture of a Yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes).

The Macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus)

A picture of a Macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus).

Additional Penguin Resources

We hope you found the above penguin facts, information, data, and pictures both fun and educational. You can continue to research penguins using one of the below additional resources. They were chosen for their credibility and accuracy; you can trust their information when it comes to penguins. Thank you for choosing Fast Facts for Kids.