15 Penguin Facts For Kids That Make For A Great Read

Penguin Facts For Kids

With their cuddly black and white outer coats and cute pair of flappers, Penguins are so much more than simply being an adorable sight. They are birds, but they can’t fly. They can survive the harshest winter cold and? What else? Add more exciting facts about penguins and complete a fascinating list of all the wonderful things these cute animals stand for. Here are some fun facts about Penguins:

1. Penguins have no wings despite being a bird

Although penguins are birds, they can’t fly because they do not have wings. Instead of a pair of beautiful wings that can help them fly, they have a pair of paddle-like flippers with short scale-like feathers that help them swim through the water. So what they are doing is that they are flying and diving through the water instead of air.


2. Penguins are excellent swimmers

Okay, penguins can’t enjoy the sky. But their lack of flight is made up for because they are excellent swimmers. Gentoos, the speediest penguins, can swim up to 20 miles per hour. Since they usually live near seas, a quick swim should rather work for them as a hobby or an everyday exercise like walking.


3. Penguins huddle together a lot

Kids like cuddling with their parents, and penguins like huddling with each other. Not exactly a thing they particularly like, but huddling together helps these animals keep themselves warm.

The act of huddling also helps them stay protected from their potential predators. Keeping themselves closed in a group works as a rather easy way to keep themselves safe and warm.


4. Their black and white coat protects them from predators

Isn’t it just so amazing that even the simple color of their bodies helps these penguins with their survival? Yes, you read it right. The black and white suit worn by these penguins not only gives them a cute look but also acts as a camouflage to not attract the eyes of their predators.

Their dark backs help them to blend in with the dark ocean water when viewed from above, and their white bellies match the color of ice floating on water when viewed from underwater. It is a perfect disguise to avoid predatory eyes and to ease their hunt for prey.


5. Penguins have special feet

penguin feet

It goes without saying that feet and legs help in movement. But in the case of penguins, their feet not only help them actively march across the sea ice but also helps them steer while swimming.

Like how a steering wheel helps the one sitting behind the wheel change direction on the road. Isn’t that simply amazing? A penguin comes with an in-built steering wheel in the form of its legs.


6. The smallest and the largest penguins have a huge size difference

The Emperor Penguin is the largest of all living penguins. These penguins have a good 1.1 m tall height and an impressive 41 kg weight. At the same time, the smallest penguin is the Little Blue Penguin, with just 41 to 45 cm in height and 1 kg weight. We wonder how these species will look if put together side by side.


7. Penguins do not have teeth

penguin mouth

Well, this fact should not come as a surprise since birds do not have a set of teeth like humans. And since penguins are birds, they lack teeth. Instead, they have fleshy spines inside their mouths that help them easily swallow their prey like small fishes.


8. Penguins get ready before taking a dive

Many of us have seen and loved the classic jump into the air before diving into the sea. It’s all around the shows, and it looks way too cool, right? But for our bird friends, it’s simply an everyday activity that helps them swim faster in the sea.

This move releases air bubbles from their feathers which almost double or sometimes triple their swimming speed underwater. Penguins are simply all things wonderful!


9. Penguins can live in water as well as on land

In fact, penguins spend half of their lifetime on land and the other half in water. Some penguin species can even spend months at a time in the sea.

Some species can also cross across 60 miles of sea ground to reach their breeding ground. And not only do they walk, but penguins love sliding on the ice on their bellies. An equal blend of water and land habitats sure keeps their hands full with lots of daily activities.


10. Penguins can drink seawater

Seawater has nothing but an excess amount of salt in it. One wonders how penguins manage to drink seawater. Wouldn’t it taste too salty? But our bird friend here has their own personal solutions for the salt.

Though they can sip meltwater from pools and streams to fulfill their thirst for water, their hunting style and diet require them to have a cool adaptation.

The cool seawater helps them adapt. A simple gland located right above their eyes helps them remove the excess salt from their blood. This excess sodium is then removed from their body by direct ejection through their bill or sneezing.


11. Penguins have their unique calls

Though all the penguins look the same, they are unique with their own unique characteristics. Just like how humans have different names for different persons, penguins have different calls for different penguins.

Scientists believe that having this unique call helps the penguin couples locate each other on the overcrowded breeding ground. It is definitely not an easy task when you consider thousands of identical-looking birds gathering around the same area searching for their own mates.


12. Penguins have waterproof feathers

We have seen and heard of waterproof watches, gadgets, and electronics, but waterproof feathers? Well, that’s new, of course. Penguins’ feathers are coated in a waterproof oil produced by the preen gland.

Being waterproof helps them insulate their bodies and regulate their temperature while in water. But baby penguins do not have waterproof feathers. Therefore they stay out of the water until they reach a certain stage of development.


13. They lose their cute furry look once a year

Penguins go through a “catastrophic molt” once a year, where they get rid of their old feathers to make way for the new ones to grow. This process usually takes two to three weeks.

They experience bad hair days during this period, and their feathers also lose their water resistance abilities. They can’t swim during such a period, so they refrain from hunting fish. But to compensate for their lack of energy, they eat a lot right before the process of molting.

They, therefore, use their extra weight as an energy source during their inactive phase. Mr. penguins have all kinds of different tricks up their sleeves to survive, and we can’t stop gushing over their brains.


14. You can’t differentiate males from females by simple looking

It goes without saying that to our human eyes, all the penguins look exactly the same. They are all so equally adorable and fluffy that we cannot tell them apart. But wait, we should at least be able to tell between male and female penguins, right? Strangely, in the case of penguins, we simply cannot tell the difference by just looking at their outer physical features.

So how does one tell them apart? For scientists, it is easy. They carry out a DNA test, and bah! You get them sorted. Some species like African Penguins also have unique spot patterns on their chest that works like human fingerprints to establish their distinct identity.


15. Penguins are facing a threat to their survival

Despite being so adorable and a heart-throbbing sight for humans, penguins also face huge survival threats because of human action. Pollution, over-fishing, climate change, and global temperature rise are some of the awful consequences of human action against the environment.

Scientists believe that warming oceans are causing a decline in food supply for so many different species of penguins. The melting of ice due to climate change also leads to losing prey like small fishes and krills. Many penguins also suffer from periodic food shortages. Going hungry for a longer period will naturally lead to their death and gradual extinction.


After having our good fill of penguins facts to wonder about, two things are very clear. First, penguins are not only adorable, but they are simply wonderful with their special abilities. Second, they are in trouble, and we might even lose these wonderful birds forever. But we still have some time to help them out.

Our small lifestyle change could make a huge difference for these birds. So, how do you think you can save them from their trouble? Prepare a list of good things you can do for them and share it with your family and friends. This will be an amazing token of love to express your love for those amazing birds!

Thanks for visiting, and have a wonderful day!