Are you craving some cool penguin facts for kids? Well, we have some that are downright icy!
Here at Yowie, it’s our mission to make learning about the natural world fun and interesting. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the most interesting penguin facts for kids of all ages! Not only will these make a great classroom learning resource for teachers and homeschooling parents, but these fun penguin facts are sure to have your little ones begging for more animal activities. Pair it with our upcycled penguin craft that uses empty toilet paper rolls for even more animal fun!
There are seventeen species of penguin – each of them slightly different. These flightless birds can all be found in the southern hemisphere: South America, the Galapagos Islands, Australia, Africa, New Zealand and at the South Pole in Antarctica. One species of penguin is the Yellow-Eyed Penguin, a limited-edition collectible toy found in the Wild Water Series of Yowie Surprise-Inside Chocolates!
Species-Specific Penguin Facts:
- African Penguins live in warm places like South Africa.
- Chinstrap Penguins are also known as “Stonebreaker Penguins” – not because they collect stones for their nests, but because it’s said that their screech is so piercing that it could break stones.
- Emperor Penguins can dive in deep water in Antarctica.
- Gentoo Penguins have flamboyant red-orange beaks, white-feather stripes around their eyes going to their heads and peach-colored feet.
- Adelie Penguins of Antarctica have white circles around the eyes.
- King Penguins are the second-largest penguin species in the world.
- Galapagos Penguins live near the Equator.
- Humboldt Penguins are named for a chilly water current that flows through their coastal range in Chile and Peru.
- Erect-Crested Penguins live in the Antipodes and Bounty Islands.
- Macaroni Penguins have orange-yellow plumes.
- Fiordland Penguins are native to Fiordland and have white patches on their beaks.
- Snares Penguins are natives of the Snares Island.
- Magellanic Penguins live in Chile and Argentina.
- Royal Penguins from Australia have a fully white face.
- Little Blue Penguins are the smallest species of penguins at only 13 inches tall.
- Rockhopper Penguins can be found in some parts of South America and have short beaks and red eyes.
- Yellow-Eyed Penguins have golden yellow, spotted colors around their eyes.
Cool Penguin Facts for Kids
Did you know…
The name “Penguin” originates from the Welsh terms “pen” or head, and “gwyn” meaning white, for a literal translation of “white head.”
Penguins are incapable of swimming backward.
A penguin can launch itself up to 6 feet into the air as they leave the water to return to land.
Penguins are warm-blooded birds, with a normal body temperature of about 100° F.
Penguins drink salt water. A special gland in their bodies takes the salt out of the ocean water that they drink and pushes it through special grooves in their bill, so the water they are actually drinking is filtered.
Penguins craft their nests out of whatever is on hand, even using rocks and stones to make their nests.
The Emperor penguin is the only species that nests in Antarctica through the frigid winter.
Leopard seals are penguins’ main threat, but sea lions and orca whales are also predators. On-land predators include ferrets, cats, snakes, lizards, foxes and rats.
A penguin’s black and white plumage acts as camouflage while they are swimming. The black coloring on their back makes them hard to see from above, while the white on their front mimics the sun reflecting off the surface of the water when seen from below.
Penguins have a thick layer of blubber to help them keep warm, and their feathers are packed tightly together for a good solid coat. A thick layer of woolly down beneath their feathers is coated with a type of oil that helps make them waterproof.
Most penguins lay two eggs per year but emperor penguins lay only one.
Penguins can’t taste fish. Studies looking at the DNA of penguins showed that all of the penguin species lack functioning genes for the receptors of sweet, umami and bitter tastes. It doesn’t matter too much to them, though, because they swallow fish whole without chewing.
Some penguins mate for life, while others only mate for a season. Each spring, the penguins will return to the same place to lay their eggs.
Some penguins sleep standing up.
The Galapagos Penguin is the only penguin species that travels north of the equator in the wild.
Chinstrap Penguins get their name from the thin black band under their head, which makes it look like they’re wearing a black helmet. This might come in handy, seeing as they’re considered the most aggressive type of penguin.
Which penguin fact did you find most interesting? Do you know an interesting penguin fact that we left out? Let us know on Facebook!
To keep the learning and entertainment going, our Yellow-Eyed Penguin craft for kids is for a hands-on activity sure to keep the little ones busy. They can make this simple craft with just an empty toilet paper tube and some paint!