Facts About Penguins

Cool Facts about Penguins

Ahead you will find a series of cool facts about penguins that I hope will make you see these amazing birds in a new light.  You may think that you already know a great deal about penguins, but you would be surprised how many interesting facts about penguins you might not have heard before.

Tiniest Penguin:  You probably know or at least could have guessed that the Emperor Penguin is the largest of penguins, able to reach almost four full feet in height, but have you ever wondered what the smallest penguin is?  The smallest penguin is the Little Blue Penguin, which barely grows to a foot and third in height and only weighs about two pounds.  Down Under, where these little Aussie penguins come from, their Homo sapiens compatriots call them Fairy Penguins, while the Maori call these little guys, Korora.  Like many kinds of penguins, the Little Blue Penguin is loyal to one sexual mate for several years, returning repeatedly to same partner year after year.  (Although they will seek other mates if their partner dies of disappears.) 

Largest Penguins Ever:  Although the Emperor is the largest existing penguin, scientists believe that in prehistoric times some penguin ancestors may have been the size of human beings.  The Nordenskjoeld Penguin may perhaps have reached to five and three quarters feet tall.  The horror and scientific author, H.P. Lovecraft used a version of this penguin in his novel At the Mountains of Madness.  Scientists believe that many of these ancient penguins may actually not have been flightless like their progeny—our modern day penguins.

Adelie Penguin:  The French explorer, Jules Dumont d’Urville named this unusual looking penguin after his wife.  It inhabits much the same area as the Emperor Penguin.  The central protagonist of the popular film, Happy Feet, is an Adelie penguin.

The Fastest Penguin: The Gentoo gets the honor not only of being the fastest penguin moving through water but also of being the fastest underwater bird at roughly 25 mph.

Jackass Penguins: These penguins from the islands around southern Africa derive their name from their vocalizations, which sound like donkeys.  People also call them African penguins.

Rarest Penguin: The rarest penguin in the world is the Yellow Eyed Penguin, whose name refers not to their actual eye color but to the stripe of yellow feathers that strikes out from their eyes and circumnavigates their heads.  (They also have yellow-feathered crowns.)  There are only five thousand of them.  A native of New Zealand, these penguins have dwindled in number because of coastal deforestation.  Yellow-eyes normally have their nest in trees, like other birds, but in the absence of trees they have taken to breeding their eggs in high grasses near the sea.  Unfortunately, dogs, cats, and other recent arrivals to their nesting grounds have made this a hazardous business.

The New Staple Meat: Believe it or not, the Goliath Corporation is soon to make penguin a food staple on everyone’s plates.  According to their website, this “stupid bird” is a perfect edition to our dining tables even if even the most storm worn sailors can’t manage to eat it.  Actually, you shouldn’t believe it, the whole website is a gag meant to satirize corporate thinking.  Just Google “Goliath Corporation” and you will get a good laugh.

Climate Change and Penguins:  Although we haven’t yet seen any penguins trapped on ice floes or anything of that sort (as we have the polar bears in the northern hemisphere), penguins are likely soon to start feeling the effects of a warming world.  Penguins of all kinds are highly dependent, after millions of years of adaptation, on the cooler climates of Antarctic region.  Of all the facts about penguins, this may turn out to be the most significant for all of us in the end.