When it comes to favourite animals, there should be no debate on which is the all time cutest. From their clumsy little waddles, attractive coats and group work.
#1 They are birds, but can’t fly.
#2 What they can do is leap from the water into the air. Before they begin their flight, they release air bubbles from their wings. This reduces the drag on their bodies, allowing them to increase their swimming speeds by double or triple!
#2 They’re unafraid of humans, so you can meet them up close!
The way they are champs in the water.
#3 Can you even imagine holding their little flippers?
Why can’t we swim this way? Most penguins can swim at speeds of 7mph, but the faster species can swim up to 22mph.
#4 How they are ready for the best situation ALL OF THE TIME.
Their coats aren’t just gorgeous, but they have top points for camouflage: the black backs blend into the oceans dark water and from above their stomachs blend into the bright sunlight on the surface. As the colours work together, they confuse their predators. This is called countershading.
#5 Their clumsiness is heart-warming.
Despite the many falls, they get up and brush themselves off and get on with it. Role models?
#6 This penguin
Meet Lala, the gorgeous 11 year old King penguin, who was rescued from a Japanese fisherman’s line by Nishimoto family back in 1996. They nursed him back to health, and once he was better he decided to stay. Here he is on his daily trip to the fish market.
#7 Ricky the Rockhopper penguin
This is Ricky the Rockhopper penguin. He lives in London Zoo on Penguin Beach. You can adopt him, from just £35 you can see this little sweetheart.
#8 Penguins are monogamous, so once they have found their partner they stay with them forever.
True love exists.
#9 They propose with pebbles.
Adelie and Gentoo penguins practice this ‘proposal’ act. If the female penguin accepts, they will mate for life.
#10 They’re incredible parents.
The male penguin will sit on the egg and incubate it for months on end without moving or eating himself, whilst the female penguin will be out fishing ready for the birth. Amazing teamwork.
#11 When they molt
Once a year, penguins go through their catastrophic molt. This is when all of their feathers fall off and grow back. They begin eating 2-3 weeks before this process to fatten themselves up, as without their feathers they can not swim or fish.
#12 Breeding in colonies
Except for two breeds of penguins, penguins breed in colonies. There can be from between 200 to hundreds of thousands of penguins all together. An interesting fact: as there is so much penguin poop on the ice, dark patches are formed. Scientists can identify the penguin breeds based on the dark ice patches.
#13 According to scientists, some prehistoric penguins were human sized.
These penguin skulls have been found on Peru’s Atacama Desert more than 30 million years ago.
#14 They don’t have teeth
Rather than teeth, they have backward facing spines which line their necks. This helps to guide the fish down.
#15 They have real life Happy Feet.
With moves like those, how could you not love them?