When you think about a penguin, you probably think of comical animals that waddle along the ice. Ever since I’ve watched “March Of The Penguins” I’ve been intrigued by these birds. Their life is actually more interesting than you think. Did you know that they can swim up to 50 kph?
Archaeologists have found penguin fossils that are about 50 million years old. It is estimated that there are about a hundred million penguins in the world. Of those hundred million penguins, there are 17 different species. They are unique to other birds because they swim instead of fly. The average lifespan of a penguin is around 15-20 years, but it really depends on the species. Penguins do not live alone; instead they live in large groups called colonies. It’s advantageous to live in colonies because it gives better protection against predators and it’s easier to get food. If there are all these penguins in the world, why have you probably never seen one?
Brrr! All penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere. You can find them in South Africa, Oceania, South America and of course Antarctica. Penguins are adapted to very cold climates. Antarctica, which is the most southern continent, has 90% of its surface as ice. Antarctica has so much ice, that in the winter it is approximately the size of Africa! Some penguins make nests out of rocks, but others do not use nests. In a penguin’s habitat there are many harsh weather conditions that make it more difficult for penguins to survive. Penguins have protection to survive the cold and their predators.
A young penguin’s most vital enemy is the cold. Many penguins die due to extreme cold and food shortages. To prot...
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...into the chick’s stomach. The males return to sea to feed themselves. When the chick grows feathers they are left alone for periods of time. This is when they are vulnerable to skuas and Artic foxes. At five months of age, the chick is ready to leave the colony and get its own food. The process of breeding among penguins is tough and tragic, but in the end it’s worth it.
Penguins are the coolest birds in the world. From their life to their habitat to their breeding, it’s all very interesting. Some species of penguins are endangered, threatened by oil spills, global warming and over harvesting of fish. Penguins also die in zoos easily because they have natural protection against germs outside their habitat. While writing this, I learned a lot of information about penguins and I hope you learned something about penguins too.
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