You need to go the Southern Hemisphere to see a penguin in their natural habitat.
They often live along the coastal area of South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
All penguins have to live close to a body of water where they can hunt for food.
The New England Aquarium says some penguin species spend as much as 80% of
their lives in the ocean. Penguins only eat seafood and swallow their food whole since
they don’t have teeth.
Their diet includes krill, squid and fish.
The smallest penguin is the ‘little blue’ penguin weighing only 2 to 3 pounds and
growing up to a foot tall. The largest penguin is the ‘emperor’ penguin which stands
about 3 feet tall and weighs between 60 and 90 pounds.
Most penguins are monogamous. They pair up exclusively during mating season and
often continue to mate with each other for most of their lives. The female emperor
penguin lays a single egg. The egg’s father balances it on his feet and covers it with his
brood pouch to keep it warm. The male stands for about 65 days in harsh weather while
the female leaves and hunts for food.
Penguins are considered birds, but they can’t fly. Researchers from the University of
Manitoba say penguins made the switch to swimming about 70 million years ago. They
likely had no predators where they lived and exchanged wings for flippers. These birds
are amazing swimmers and divers. They can reach depths of up to 500 metres and can
stay underwater for up to 22 minutes.