Sunday, September 11, 2011

Interesting Facts About Penguins

Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. There are about 20 extant species of Penguin. These birds can not fly but they are excellent swimmers.

1.) Diet of most Penguins include, fish, squid, krill and other sea creatures. They can live up to 20 years.

2.) Penguins spend about half of their lives on land and half in the oceans.

3.) The only species of Penguin that lives near the equator is the Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus).

4.) Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the largest living species reaching an average height of 1.1 meters and an average weight of 35 kg.

5.) Little Blue Penguin (Eudyptula minor), also known as the Fairy Penguin, is the smallest penguin species. It stands about 40 cm and weighs 1 kg.

6.) Penguins can drink salt water because their supraorbital gland filters excess salt from the bloodstream. The salt is excreted in a concentrated fluid from the nasal passages.

7.) A Penguin uses its tail and wings to maintain balance for its upright stance.

8.) Penguins are superbly adapted to aquatic life. Their vestigial wings have become flippers, useless for flight in the air. But when they swim underwater, they look like flying in the air.

9.) Diving penguins reach 6 to 12 km/h, though there are reports of velocities of 27 km/h

10.) Dives of the large Emperor Penguin had been recorded reaching a depth of 565 m (1,870 ft) for up to 22 minutes.

11.)  Most penguins lay two eggs in a clutch. The Emperor and the King Penguins, the two largest species, lay only one.

12.) All penguins share the incubation duties except for the male Emperor Penguin who does it all.

13.) Penguins seem to have no special fear of humans, and have approached groups of explorers without hesitation.

14.) Historically, Royal Penguins were harvested for their oil, between 1870 and 1919 with an average 150,000 penguins being taken each year.

15.) When mothers lose a chick, they sometimes attempt to "steal" another mother's chick.

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