Penguins Are Birds Essay

My Research Paper

Research Topic: Penguins

Many people think of penguins as those little birds that look like there in tuxedos in Antarctica, but they’re a lot more complicated then that. They are a very amazing type of animal. Penguins have lots of interesting things about them, like the big wonder of why penguins can’t fly, penguins habitats, and just the basic what are they like?

Penguins habitats are very interesting, and perfect for their kind. Penguins live in normally cold temperatures, most live in the cold ice of Antarctica, but some live in the Southern parts of New Zealand. They enjoy bathing in cold water, and being in very icy places so they can slide on there bellies.

It always seems like penguins are so safe in there little bubble in Antarctica, but is that really true? Penguins are actually very endangered animals. Penguins used to get hunted because each penguin has a little bit of oil inside of them, but that was outlawed. Penguins defense is very unique. In the water if a predator is attacking them, then they dive as deep as they can get into the water, and swim at full speed towards the shore to other penguins. If a land animal is hunting them they normally slide on their bellies (tobbogan) to get away at full speed. Some of the penguins predators are Leopard Seals, Orcas, and some sharks such as Tiger Sharks. A very unique predator is the Skua, which swoops down and takes the baby penguins. Surprisingly though, the penguins most hated predator is humans.

Why can’t penguins fly? A lot of people may ask this question, but there is a very reasonable answer to it. 65 Million years ago the ancestors of penguins were able to fly, they would fly over the ocean and dive into the water. Over time there bones grew more solid so they could no longer lift there weight in the sky. So, at the beginning of times penguins actually could fly.

Penguins are actually very social animals. They work together in most things they do. Penguins travel together, eat together, breed together, they are very social animals. They stay in groups so they can defend against predators easier. The older penguins normal breed in the place they were born to breed. And they learn things from each other like the locations of food. And living in groups provides better protection for the young penguins. When penguins dive into the water they try to push each other in until one finally goes in to make sure its safe.

As you can see, penguins are very interesting animals. They are so different then most animals that we know of, there habitat, there predators, how social they are, and of course penguins’ issue with flying. A lot of little kids say that penguins are there favorite animals, but do they really know about penguins?

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Back to Animals

Penguins are one of the most beloved animals in the world. Penguins are found in many areas in the southern hemisphere. Most people think of penguins as living in very cold climates like the icy continent of Antarctica, but they also live in more temperate areas like the Galapagos Islands, Australia, and South Africa.

Penguins are very funny animals. They are birds that cannot fly, but love to swim! A typical penguin can spend at least half of its time swimming in the water.

Penguins Don't Fly, They Swim

Penguins love to swim in the ice cold ocean water. They can swim very fast and can leap out of the water and dive deep looking for food. A layer of fat together with a layer of air keeps penguins warm in the cold water and almost any weather.

Types of Penguins

There are several different types of penguins including the Rockhopper, Macaroni, Adelie, Gentoo, Chinstrap, Emperor, King, and the Little Penguin. You can tell these different types of penguins apart by the unique markings on their heads. Perhaps the Macaroni penguin has the most unusual of these markings as it has long orange feathers right on top of its head. The largest of the penguins is the Emperor penguin which is over three feet tall.

Here is a brief description of some of the different types of penguins:
  • Adelie Penguin - This penguin is short, but wide. This makes it look a bit overweight. It lives in the Antarctic in large colonies.
  • Emperor Penguin - This is the largest of the penguins growing to over 3 feet tall. They live in Antarctica.
  • King Penguin - The second largest penguin, the King lives in the Antarctic as well as the Falkland Islands, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Galapagos Penguin - One of the smallest penguins at only 20 inches tall and 5 pounds fully grown, it lives on the Galapagos Islands.
  • Macaroni Penguin - This penguin is famous for its long orange feathers on top of its head. They grow to about 28 inches tall and 11 pounds. They live in the cooler areas like the Antarctic.
  • Rockhopper Penguin - Found in the Antarctic, this crested penguin has different colored feathers on its head. It is small, typically weighing around 5 pounds fully grown.
What do they look like?

Penguins all have a similar shape. On land they can waddle along on their hind feet or slide quickly on the ice on their stomachs. All Penguins are mostly black and white in coloring, which provides an excellent camouflage in the water. When swimming in the ocean, their white stomachs make them hard to see from below as they blend into the sky and sunlight above. Likewise, their black backs help disguise them from above as they are hard to see against the water and the dark ocean bed.

What do they eat?

Penguins mostly eat fish. What types of fish they eat can depend on where they live. They also eat krill, squid, crustaceans, and octopus.

Penguin Parents

Some penguins mate for life, while others mate for a season. At spring they return to the same place every year and lay eggs. Sometimes there will be thousands of penguins at the same place. Each parent penguin takes a turn sitting on the egg, or eggs, to keep them warm. They also stay close to the eggs and newborn chicks to protect them from predators. While one parent watches over the chick, the other parent will get food and store it in its mouth to feed the chick. The chicks are often easy to pick out as they are brown and fluffy.

Cool Facts About Penguins
  • They can drink saltwater.
  • The emperor penguin can dive up to 1800 feet deep and stay under water for over 20 minutes.
  • Penguins can swim as fast as 16 MPH.
  • Penguins have excellent eyesight and hearing.
  • Some penguins sleep standing up.

Emperor Penguins

For more about birds:

Blue and Yellow Macaw - Colorful and chatty bird
Bald Eagle - Symbol of the United States
Cardinals - Beautiful red birds you can find in your backyard.
Flamingo - Elegant pink bird
Mallard Ducks - Learn about this awesome Duck!
Ostriches - The biggest birds don't fly, but man are they fast.
Penguins - Birds that swim
Red-tailed Hawk - Raptor

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